Definition - What does Lymphocyte Percentage mean?
Lymphocyte percentage is a metrical assessment of the number of lymphocytes represented as B cells (25%) and T cells (75%) in proportion to the white blood cell count in a single blood specimen. A blood test is the criterion used on patients to determine a high or low range of lymphocytes, which can suggest infection or a blood disorder. Lymphocytes operate interdependently to recognize and destroy invading antigens including allergens, bacteria, viruses, and other microbes.
WorkplaceTesting explains Lymphocyte Percentage
Foreign substances that enter the body activate the immune system to make an initial response by targeting and eliminating the antigen, limiting spread of infection. B cells and T cells produce memory cells that trigger an immediate recognition and defense mechanism against identical harmful agents following exposure. A majority of lymphocytes are distributed through the lymphatic system, which consists of the lymph nodes, spleen and tonsils, in order to help prevent serious diseases and infections.
During a blood test, a doctor notes any deficiency of lymphocytes, also known as lymphocytopenia, or an excess of lymphocytes, also known as lymphocytosis. A wide variety of etiological factors can contribute to high or low lymphocyte levels, compromising the immune system’s ability to combat infectious diseases. For instance, lymphocytopenia can be attributed to autoimmune conditions (i.e. lupus), Hodgkin's disease, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), influenza, lymphocytic anemia, and steroid injections. Conversely, lymphocytosis can be linked to hepatitis, viral infections (i.e. measles, mumps), HIV, influenza, and tuberculosis.
In the workplace, a lack of sanitary control measures predisposes workers to developing respiratory tract infections and other ailments detrimental to the immune system. An effective safeguard against biohazards can include proper hygiene and regular vaccinations to protect employees. The lymphocyte percentage serves as a practical ratio for interpreting biochemical imbalances against benchmark standards.