decreased monocyte level

  1. hi working on my careplan and not being able to rationalize why my client has a low monocyte level. Lots of info on elevated levels is available but not much on low levels, nothing i have found pertains to her case. So any ideas? Can they be decreased from chemo? Does malnutrition affect them? Previous pancreatic CA?

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    About ShannonR

    Joined: Jan '07; Posts: 4


  3. by   kimber1985
    I am just a student, but certainly Chemo would affect Monocyte levels. What other meds is she on? Antibiotics, Steroids, Immunosurpressents? What is her Dx? Check the drug book on labs to consider for her drugs.
  4. by   EricJRN
    May be important to determine whether the absolute count is low or whether it's the monocyte percentage that is low. If you have an increased number of one of the other cells, it can throw off the percentages for the rest of the types of cells.

    Sometimes you'll see a low monocyte count when you start corticosteroids. It's also associated with an uncommon form of leukemia (hairy cell leukemia), but you'd also probably be seeing other goofy values on the CBC in that case.

    Monocyte function has been shown to decrease following cancer chemotherapy, but as far as decrease in count, the biggest effect would probably be seen in the neutrophils.
    Last edit by EricJRN on Feb 2, '07
  5. by   Daytonite
    Monocyte levels, in particular, are seen decreased when patients are on prednisone. Outside of that, WBCs overall are depressed in these conditions:
    • overwhelming infections
    • dietary deficiencies
    • some drug toxicities
    • autoimmune diseases
    • bone marrow failure
    • bone marrow inflitration (myelofibrosis) - about CBC
  6. by   ShannonR
    autoimmune, that could be influenced by chemo right???
  7. by   SoulShine75
    a low momocyte level means that the immune system isn't doing it's job. Monocytes are the same or kind of the same as macrophages and macrphages destroy and "eat" bacteria. If they are low it means that bacteria can invade and take over and the person's immune system isn't defending itself. That's all I know about it...sorry I can't help more...I'm only a student.