Blood differential test

Differential; Diff; White blood cell differential count

The blood differential test measures the percentage of each type of white blood cell (WBC) that you have in your blood. It also reveals if there are any abnormal or immature cells.

Basophil (close-up)

Basophils are a specific type of white blood cell. These cells are readily stained with basic dyes (this is where the name comes from). Note the dark grains inside the cellular fluid (cytoplasm) of this basophil. Basophils make up only a small portion of the number of white blood cells but are important parts of the body's immune response. They release histamine and other chemicals that act on the blood vessels when the immune response is triggered.

Formed elements of blood

Blood transports oxygen and nutrients to body tissues and returns waste and carbon dioxide. Blood distributes nearly everything that is carried from one area in the body to another place within the body. For example, blood transports hormones from endocrine organs to their target organs and tissues. Blood helps maintain body temperature and normal pH levels in body tissues. The protective functions of blood include clot formation and the prevention of infection.

White blood cell count - series

The White Blood Cell (WBC) Count measures two components; the total number of WBC's (leukocytes) and the differential count. The differential count measures the percentages of each type of leukocyte present. WBC's are composed of granulocytes (neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils) and non-granulocytes (lymphocytes and monocytes). White blood cells are a major component of the body's immune system. Indications for a WBC count include infectious and inflammatory diseases; leukemia and lymphoma; and bone marrow disorders.

How the Test is Performed

How to Prepare for the Test

How the Test will Feel

Why the Test is Performed

Normal Results

What Abnormal Results Mean