This test measures the number of leukocytes, also known as white blood cells, in the blood. These cells are found in the blood, the lymphatic system, tissues and play a pivotal role in the defense system of the body. They help in protecting against infections and play a role in inflammation and allergic reactions.
There are five types of white blood cells, each of which has a different function. When there is an infection or inflammatory process somewhere in the body, the bone marrow releases white blood cells into the blood and they move into the site of infection or inflammation.
When the condition resolves, the production of white blood cells by the bone marrow subsides and the number of white blood cells drops to normal levels once more. Conditions like cancer and immune disorders also impact the number of white blood cells, increasing or decreasing them.
Higher levels of leukocytes in the bloodstream indicate an infection. Leukocytes may also be found in a urinalysis. A high level of white blood cells in the
suggests that the patient has an infection. Here, the body is trying to fight off an infection in the urinary tract, such as the bladder or the urethra.