Blood tests: interpretation of LYM in children (norm, deviation)

With the advent of a child in the family, parents have many wonderful and unforgettable moments. The first smile, the first word, the first steps. All these achievements of the baby are the most important for his parents. Mom and Dad try to give their child only the best and protect it from all sorts of adversities. But, despite gentle and vigilant custody, the child is prone to get sick.

What protects a child from disease?

Getting into this world from the sterile conditions of the mother's womb, the child encounters a numerous world of microorganisms.

His acquaintance with the smallest representatives of life forms begins with a first sigh. For the sterile organism of the baby, each microorganism carries a threat. But, fortunately, nature took care of a defenseless being, rewarding him with a powerful defense - immunity. Immunity of the newborn depends entirely on his mother. It is the mother who is able to give powerful protection to the baby's body together with the first drops of milk. So conceived by nature, and the best one can not invent or invent.

But the child is not able to resist all the microorganisms that occur in his life's path. As a result of such a meeting - the emergence of diseases. If a child has symptoms of a disease, we hurry to turn to a pediatric specialist. Having carefully examined your child, the doctor for the full picture will recommend donating blood for analysis.

What can tell the blood test?

An extensive blood test can tell a lot about the physiological state of the child at the moment. Blood tests, transcript, LYM - all these concepts are important for the doctor. By this indicator the doctor can judge the state of immunity of your baby.

What do blood tests say, LYM, what is it and what is needed? So, you have a sheet with a lot of symbols and figures that are incomprehensible to the average person. Only a medical specialist can deal with them. But something is understandable in the power of a person without a specialized education. For example, what is LYM? A blood test, the interpretation of which is given below, will help to understand the intricacies of medical terms.

Usually, in the sheet with the results of a complete blood test, the following main points are:

  • Hb - hemoglobin. This indicator indicates the content of a special protein in the blood, which is the carrier of oxygen in the human body.
  • Ht is the hematocrit. The value of this indicator indicates the ratio of the blood elements to the plasma.
  • RBC - red blood cells. This position is closely related to the amount of hemoglobin, since it is red blood cells - red blood cells - that carry this important protein.
  • CPU - the color indicator. It indicates the ratio of hemoglobin to the number of erythrocytes.
  • WBC - leukocytes. This position speaks of the content of special bodies responsible for opposing the organism to various infections.
  • NEU - neutrophils. This indicator provides information on cells of nonspecific immunity, whose task is to absorb and neutralize foreign microorganisms and bodies.
  • EOS - eosinophils. These cells also represent unspecific human immunity , which manifests itself in allergies and parasitic diseases.
  • LYM - lymphocytes. This position describes the state of specific immunity and characterizes the inflammatory processes in the human body. For a specialist who studies blood tests, the LYM transcript is very informative.
  • PLT - platelets. These special shaped elements are responsible for the coagulability of the blood and adsorb onto the remnants of the spent immune compounds.
  • ESR - sedimentation rate of erythrocytes. The value of this indicator tells the doctor about the presence in the body of inflammatory or other pathological diseases.

In addition to these indicators, the actual values and maximum permissible values are displayed. That's what information is carried by the blood test. Decoding of LYM in children is made in accordance with the age of the child. Normative indicators change as your child grows up.

What are lymphocytes?

What does the mysterious abbreviation LYM tell us? A blood test, the transcription of which you already know, indicates the content of blood in the blood of special particles - lymphocytes.

Lymphocytes are formed elements of blood, which are part of the human immune system . This group of agranulocytes, one of the varieties of white blood cells, which are called "white blood cells." The objectives of lymphocytes include the following positions:

  • Provision of humoral immunity or production of antibodies.
  • Contacting the victim cells. This provides immunity at the cellular level.
  • Activities to regulate cells of other types.

Normally, the lymphocyte count in children is 30 - 70% (depending on age). But the blood contains no more than 2% of all leukocytes, since the rest of them is dispersed throughout the body and is located in the tissues. On the analysis of blood, the doctor judges the normality of the lymphocyte content in the body. For him, the LYM (blood count) value is important. Decoding (the norm is also indicated there) will tell you everything. The condition in which their number exceeds the norm, is called lymphocytosis. If their content is below the limits, then it is called leukopenia.

A unique property of leukocytes is the ability to recognize antigens. Lymphocytes are formed in the following organs of the human body: tonsils, lymph nodes, spleen, Peyer's patches, bone marrow and appendix. In a state of rest, the lymphocytes are small cells with a colored dark nucleus. The nucleus contains a large amount of chromatin and a few cytoplasm with mitochondria, which are in disparate form. If we carry out the morphology of lymphocytes, we can distinguish two types:

  • Large cells of a granular type (usually NK cells, rarely - immunoblasts and lymphoblasts in the state of division).
  • Small cells (T and B lymphocytes).

Based on the functions that lymphocytes perform in the body, they are divided into three main types: B-lymphocytes, T-lymphocytes and NK-lymphocytes.


B-lymphocytes are cells that are able to recognize hostile structures or antigens. In response, they produce special molecules of protein nature - antibodies.

In the form of B-lymphocytes, about 10-20% of all specific cells are transformed. The peculiarity of these structures is the memory of contact with a foreign agent, be it a virus, a bacterium or a chemical compound, and the development of a unique mechanism for its neutralization. While these cells are alive, they retain this acquired memory. They are also able to transmit this information to newly formed B-lymphocytes. It is thanks to these cells that it is possible to effectively carry out the vaccination process.


T - lymphocytes are peculiar regulators of immunity. Their content in the blood - 60-85% of the total mass of lymphocytes. After blood tests, the transcript of LYM will indicate exactly this type of lymphocytes. The precursors of this group of corpuscles enter the thymus gland or thymus, where the process of their maturation takes place. That's why they got the name T-lymphocytes. These cells are divided into several types:

  • T-lymphocytes carrying a CD4 marker. They participate in the regulation of the process of differentiation of B-lymphocytes and the production of antibodies.
  • T-lymphocytes, carriers of the marker CD4. These bodies come into cooperation with phagocytes and help them to neutralize the cells of microbes. Two groups of carriers of the marker CD4 are united in the class of T-helpers.
  • T-suppressors capable of suppressing the immune response either by cytotoxic action on antigens, or by the release of cytokines, or by giving a signal of negative regulation.
  • T-lymphocytes bearing the marker CD8, called T-killers. These cells are capable of recognizing and destroying structures infected with viruses and other intracellular pathogens.

The main functions of T-lymphocytes in the human body are:

  • Stimulation of B-lymphocytes for proliferation and differentiation.
  • Ability to suppress immune response.
  • Antigenic specificity of T-helpers and T-killers.


NK - lymphocytes carry the function of quality control of all cells in the human body. They account for 5-20% of all lymphocytes.

Recognizing the deviation from the norm in the cell, the NK - lymphocyte can destroy it. The abbreviation NK stands for "Natural Killer", which indicates how these cellular substances act. Having detected on the cell a marker of nonconformity, NK - lymphocyte eliminates it, providing histological purity in the human body. Its action is mainly aimed at combating cancer and cells transformed by viruses.

So, the available blood tests (deciphering LYM) will tell the doctor about whether the child has normal lymphocyte content. At this stage, one can speak of the normal, increased or decreased content of these cells in the blood. The normal content of lymphocytes is indicated in the table.

Table of normalized lymphocyte counts

Patient's age Limits of fluctuations in the norm of lymphocytes
Relative quantity,% Absolute amount (10 * 9 / ml)
Adults 19-37 1.0-4.8
10-16 years old 30-45 1.2-5.2
5-10 years 30-50 1.5-6.8
2-4 years 33-50 2.0-8.0
1-2 years 37-60 3.0-9.5
Up to 12 months 45-70 2.0-11.0

The most informative for evaluating this indicator is the general blood test (decoding LYM LY). Lymphocytes (indicators available compare with the norm) will tell about the increased or decreased content of these elements in the blood.

Increased lymphocyte count (lymphocytosis)

There are two types of lymphocytosis:

  • The relative increase in lymphocytes in the blood speaks only of the increased percentage of the latter in the total leukocyte formula. The total number of lymphocytes does not increase. Blood tests (decoding LYM) will indicate their number. Relative leukocytosis is characteristic of typhoid, influenza, Birmer's anemia, chronic forms of splenomegaly, aleukia, endocrine system diseases (Addison's and Graves' disease), some forms of avitaminosis, physical exhaustion, dystrophy, condition after preventive vaccination and recovery after acute infection.
  • Absolute increase of lymphocytes is characteristic for chronic and benign syphilis, reaction after subcutaneous injection of adrenaline, benign tuberculosis, whooping cough (in combination with leukocytosis), ulcerative sore throat, lymphatic leukemia.

Reduced content of lymphocytes (lymphopenia)

Lymphopenia or lymphocytopenia can also be of two kinds:

  • Relative lymphopenia, found in the overwhelming majority of cases, is expressed in a decrease in the percentage of lymphocytes in the leukocyte formula. In this case, the absolute number of lymphocytes can be normal or elevated. This phenomenon is typical for leukemia myelosis, neutrophilic leukocytosis (sepsis, croupous pneumonia).
  • Absolute leukopenia is rare. It is typical for acute infectious diseases in severe form. For example, for acute sepsis, measles, sarcoma, tuberculosis of lymph nodes, cancer. LYM (general blood test, interpretation of all indicators) must be known to specialists for diagnosis and further examination of the patient.

What kind of specialists are needed to consult?

To consult and identify the form of deviation of the level of leukocytes from the norm, the exact diagnosis will require consultation of a hematologist, phthisiatrist and venereologist. Very informative for these specialists, a general blood test Decoding LYM (increased or lowered) will help to make the correct diagnosis. With a comprehensive examination and timely professional treatment, there is always a chance for a complete recovery of the patient.

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