I have done several hours of on-line research and can't find anything related to this subject; have looked under pregnancy, pregnancy related leukocytosis, falsely elevated WBC count, etc.
Situation: OB doc told someone he did not pick up on an infection (with respective elevated WBC count) (unrelated to pregnancy; patient did fine) in a G2P1 patient at 26 weeks gestation because "high WBC count is common in women at this point in a pregnancy."
I have never heard this, and I worked L&D for a few years, but that does not mean it isn't true. If anyone has witnessed this phenomenon, and/or can point me to related articles describing the pathophysiology, I would very much appreciate it. Will return the favor if you have questions related to the operating room!
May 10, '02
Not uncommon to have a slightly elevated WBC count. Over 15,000 is considered abnormal according to AWHONN Perinatal Nursing (Lippincott, 1996).
May 10, '02
Thank you for the responsce. After spending several fruitless hours on Ovid and Medline, and finding only a couple of references to pregnancy induced leukocytosis--ONE IN JAPANESE, ONE IN HEBREW--I went to Google, where I found several. Best article was by an OB doc named Andrew Chang, who stated that high WBC count during pregnancy was common, and that a WBC up to 25,000 was not at all uncommon during labor.