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Monocytopenia is a reduced amount of monocytes in the peripheral blood. Monocytes are cells belonging to leukocytes, i.e. white blood cells, which in the human body play an important role in immune processes. What are the causes of monocytopenia?

Monocytopeniais too low the number of monocytes in the blood, and the correct amount of monocytes in the blood is 5-8% of the total amount of leukocytes, i.e. 0.2109 - 0.8109 / l.

Condition where monocyte values ​​are lower than 0.2109 / l ( <200 komórek/µl) nazywamy właśnie monocytopenią.

The laboratory test that allows to determine the content of monocytes in the blood is its basic general test, i.e. blood count.

  • Monocytes (MONO) - role and norm

Monocytopenia most often accompanies bone marrow diseases, which include aplastic anemia, hairy cell leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia. In the advanced stage of development of these diseases, bone marrow aplasia, i.e. bone marrow failure, occurs.

This leads to pancytopenia, i.e. a reduced amount of all morphotic elements in the blood, both leukocytes, erythrocytes and platelets.

Monocytopenia is often observed in people struggling with amytotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), in the course of bacterial, fungal, parasitic or fungal infections, as well as during glucocorticoid therapy and chemotherapy.

What are monocytes?

Monocytes, next to lymphocytes, eosinophils, basophils and neutrophils, belong to white blood cells, i.e. leukocytes. They are produced in the red bone marrow from the colony-forming unit (macrophage) (CFU-M) under the influence of appropriate growth factors.

After exiting the bone marrow, they end up in the peripheral blood where they stay for about 8 to 72 hours, then enter the tissues. There they turn into tissue macrophages and are responsible for performing characteristic functions typical of the tissue in which they are located.

Tissue macrophages are found in the lungs, liver, bone tissue, peritoneal cavity, and joint capsules, and when brought together they form the reticuloendothelial system.

Functions of monocytes

Monocytes are blood cells that play an important role in processes in the human bodyimmune, antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic and antifungal reactions. They are responsible for the production of growth factors and regulate the biosynthesis of immunoglobulins, i.e. antibodies.


Monocytes arise from the colony-forming unit (macrophage) (CFU-M) in the red bone marrow.

In children, red bone marrow fills all bones, both long and flat. In adults, it is replaced with yellow bone marrow, and red marrow is found in flat bones, which include pelvic bones, sternum, vertebral bodies, ribs, skull bones, scapulae and epiphyses of long bones.

CFU-M cells proliferate, differentiate and mature in successive stages: monoblasts, promonocytes and monocytes. After maturation is complete, monocytes exit the bone marrow and enter the circulating blood.

Stem pluripotent cell → myeloid stem cell → CFU-GM cell → CFU-M cell → monoblast → promonocyte → monocyte

Monocytopenia - can be detected by morphology

To determine the amount of monocytes in the blood, it is enough to perform a basic peripheral blood test, i.e. a complete blood count. The test should be performed in the morning and the patient should be fasting until a reliable result is obtained. Eat the last meal preferably 12 hours before blood sampling, during this time you should only drink mineral water.

The content of monocytes in the blood is determined in the basic general venous blood test. After disinfecting the skin in the area of ​​the elbow, venous blood is collected from the ulnar vein using a sterile, disposable needle.

After removing the needle, press the injection site with a sterile gauze for at least 10 minutes and do not lift the upper limb upwards, it will prevent an unsightly bruise.

The general blood test (complete blood count) can be ordered by the general practitioner or can be performed privately at your own expense.

The price of such a test varies depending on the medical laboratory, but it fluctuates around 5 zlotys. The results should be available for collection on the same day or the next business day at the latest.

Monocytes: norms and test interpretation

The correct number of monocytes in peripheral venous blood is in the range 0.2109 - 0.8109 / l.

Values ​​greater than 0.8109 / l (>800 cells / µl) indicate monocytosis.

However, the state in which the monocyte values ​​are lower than 0.2109 / l ( <200 komórek/µl) nazywamy właśnie monocytopenią.

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