Basophils belong to the group of white blood cells and are important for controlling allergic reactions and fighting parasites. Read everything about the function of basophils, their normal values and the possible causes of deviations.
At a glance:
What are basophils?
Basophilic granulocytes (also: basophils) are a subgroup of white blood cells (leukocytes) and make up about one percent of total leukocytes. As part of the innate immune system, they are formed in the bone marrow and, if necessary, enter the bloodstream after a few hours – attracted by certain messenger substances – into tissues or organs.
Here, among other things, they release histamine from within, which can lead to an immediate allergic reaction (from itchy skin and hay fever to anaphylactic shock) within minutes. In addition, they work together with the eosinophilic granulocytes in the defense against worms and parasites.
Basophils: which value is normal?
To determine the basophil level, a blood sample is taken and examined in the laboratory. The reference ranges for normal values of basophilic granulocytes are given in percent based on the total leukocyte count. Depending on age and gender, they are:
|From 18 years||0,1-1,2%||0,2-1,2%|
When is the basophil level determined?
The basophil count is usually determined when a person shows signs of infection or allergy. Sometimes changed basophil values are noticed by chance when a complete blood count is taken as part of another examination.
When basophils are increased
If the basophil granulocytes are too high, experts speak of a basophilia. It often occurs in connection with a parasite infestation, but it can also have one of the following causes:
When basophils are low
If the basophil granulocytes are too low, experts speak of a basopenia. Because of the increased consumption, it often occurs in the acute phase of an allergic reaction or at the beginning of an infection. Even with an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), after radiation therapy or the intake of high concentrations of glucocorticoids (cortisone), the basophil level may be too low. In women, at the time of ovulation, a decrease in basophil granulocytes to 50 percent of the previous values is observed.
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Source: Lifeline | Das Gesundheitsportal by www.lifeline.de.
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