A leukemoid reaction is an increase in the white blood cell count, which can mimic leukemia. The reaction is actually due to an infection or another disease and is not a sign of cancer.
Blood counts often return to normal when the underlying condition is treated.
Rice L, Jung M. Neutrophilic leukocytosis, neutropenia, monocytosis, and monocytopenia. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ, Silberstein LE, et al, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 48.
Last reviewed on: 5/27/2020
Reviewed by: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.