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What is Absolute Eosinophil Count (AEC) Blood Test?

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Absolute Eosinophil Count (AEC) Blood Test is a test to measure the percentage of eosinophils in the blood. Presence of high count of eosinophil helps to detect certain medical conditions like, tropical pulmonary eosinophilia, eczema, Churg Strauss syndrome, lupus, asthma and severe allergies.

White blood cells are a part of the body’s immune system, which provide protection against infections, invading bacteria, viruses, and parasites. There are five types of blood cells that are all produced in the bone marrow and are found in the blood and lymph tissues. They are neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, T cells, and B cells. One kind of esinophil is WBC. WBC count can be measured to detect medical conditions and infections in the body.

What is Eosinophil?

Eosinophil is a type of white blood cells that are stored in the tissues throughout the body. They are found in lymphatic organ tissues and are generally related to inflammatory conditions especially allergies reactions. The role of eosinophils is to protect the body from invading germs like viruses, bacteria, or parasites such as hookworms and inflammation related to allergies, eczema and asthma. These white blood cells also play a role in organ development such as mammary gland formation. They help in trapping harmful substances, killing cells and repressing parasitic bactericidal activity. It also helps in isolating and controlling the immune response during inflammation (allergy) as well as infection.

Eosinophil

What is Absolute Eosinophil Count (AEC) Blood Test?

An Absolute Eosinophil Count test measures the amount of eosinophils in the body. At the time of an infection or due to the presence of invading micro organisms, eisinophil count inside the body starts to grow in order to ward off the infection causing cells or organisms. This increase in the number of eosinophils detected through the test helps to find out about medical conditions, tropical pulmonary eosinophilia, Loeffler syndrome, Churg-Strauss syndrome, asthma, and allergies.

Why is Absolute Eosinophil Count (AEC) Blood Test Performed?

When white blood count differential test is performed, the doctor determines the percentage of each kind of white blood cell present in the blood. He may notice some abnormality in the blood cells and may suggest the patient go for AEC Blood Test. This test can help analyze the possibility of certain disease or conditions such as:

  • Acute hypereosinophilic syndrome 
  • A drug reaction
  • An extreme allergic reaction 
  • Early stages of Cushing disease
  • Infection by a parasite

How the AEC Test is Performed?

Examining a blood sample from the patient performs the Absolute Eosinophil Count (AEC) Blood Test. The following are steps taken by the doctor to determine Absolute Eosinophil Count in the body:

  • Before blood is drawn out, the site is cleaned with antiseptic. Blood is normally obtained from the vein on the elbow or back of the hand. Sometimes the nurse may wrap an elastic band around the arm to encourage the flow of blood.
  • The doctor gently inserts a needle into the vein and collects blood in a tube.

Eosinophil count test

  • After required amount is collected for the test, the needle is removed and the site is disinfected and covered to stop bleeding.
  • A stain is added to the sample, which causes the eosinophils blood cells to show up as orange-red granules.
  • The Absolute Eosinophil Count is calculated by number of eosinophils present per 100 cells. The percentage of eosinophils is multiplied by WBC count to give the absolute eosinophil count.

How to Prepare for AEC Test?

Even though there are no necessary preparations for the test, the patient may be advised to stop taking medications that may cause the eosinophils levels to fluctuate. Medications that can cause increased eosinophils levels are:

  • Amphetamines (diet pills)
  • Certain laxatives containing psyllium
  • Certain antibiotics
  • Interferon
  • Tranquilizers

What are the complications associated with Absolute Eosinophil Count?

  • Just like any other blood test, the risks of complications during absolute eosinophil count are very low.
  • Some may feel minor bruising at the puncture wound.
  • Sometimes, It may also cause the vein to swell up which, can be treated by applying warm compression for several days.
  • Fainting and feeling lightheaded is also common in patients who are not used to such environments.
  • There is also a slight risk of infections to the site.
  • In some cases, the blood may accumulate on the skin, known as Hematoma.
  • Excessive bleeding can be a problem if the patient has a bleeding disorder.

What happens after an Eosinophil Count Test?

If you have an allergy or parasitic infection, your doctor will prescribe a short-term treatment to alleviate symptoms and revert your WBC count to normal.

If your eosinophil count indicates an autoimmune disease, your doctor may want to conduct more tests to determine which type of diseases you have. A wide variety of other conditions can cause high levels of eosinophils, so it’s important to work with your doctor to figure out the cause.

What do the Results Mean?

After the tests are performed the doctor may provide the report mentioning the count of eosinophil. It is determined by the following:

1. Normal Eosinophil Count

When the eosinophil count is less than 500 cells per microliter or 0.0-6.0% the patient is considered to have normal eosinophil count. In children, the eosinophil level varies with age.

The AEC normal value may vary among different laboratories and test of different specimens of the same person so it's better to ask your provider to interpret your test results.

2. High Eosinophil Count

High number of Eosinophil may be related to a variety of disorders. If the eosinophil count is above 500 cells per microliter, then you are suffering from eosinophilia. The severances of high eosinophil count is classified into three categories:

  • Mild - 500-1,500 cells/ microliter
  • Moderate - 1,500-5000 cells/ microliter
  • Severe - more than 5000 cells/ microliter

High Eosinophil count may be caused by:

  • Allergic diseases
  • Parasite infection, such as hookworms
  • Certain fungus infections
  • Asthma
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Eczema
  • Hay fever
  • Leukemia and other blood disorders
  • Hypereosinophilic syndrome
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Lupus
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Drug reaction
  • An organ transplant rejection

Low Eosinophil Count

Lower than normal eosinophil count may be caused due to:

  • Alcohol intoxication
  • Overproduction of certain steroids in the body (such as cortisol)
  • Abnormal Reports

How to Reduce or Increase Eosinophil Count?

If your eosinophil count is high or low in some cases, the doctor will prescribe a short-term treatment to examine symptoms and balance white blood cells count to normal. If you have an autoimmune disease, the doctor may perform more tests to analyze the type of disease.


We hope that we have provided you with complete information on Absolute Eosinophil Count (AEC) and its symptoms at normal, high and low levels. In case you are looking for some other information and complete assistance on IVF, surrogacy and infertility treatments, feel free to contact at +917899912611.

Dr. Sheetal Pandey Tejwani

About The Author

Gynecologic Surgeon, Laparoscopic Surgeon Dr. Sheetal Pandey Tejwani
Mumbai

Dr. Sheetal Pandey Tejwani is an Infertility Specialist, Gynecologic Surgeon and Obstetrician, located in Mumbai and having an experience of almost a decade. Her alma mater is B J MEDICAL COLLEGE in Pune from where she completed her MBBS and MS in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 2007 and 2009, respectively. In the following year, she pursued her DNB in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She received her Post Doctoral Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine from Krishna IVF Vizag and Nadkarni IVF Centre, Surat in 2013. She is the member of 3 different associations i.e. Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction (ISAR), Indian Medical Association (IMA), and Association of Medical Consultants. Her area of expertise includes Tubectomy/Tubal Ligation, Hysterectomy (Abdominal/Vaginal), Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), Caesarean Section and In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). She is a consultant in Veda Fertility And Urology Care, Mira Road and is a visiting consultant in Wockhardt Hospital, Mira Road, Mumbai. You can get the contact details of Dr. Sheetal Pandey Tejwani at elawoman.com

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    6 Comments

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    Sagufta Yasmeen

    In my latest AEC blood test, my eosinophil count was around 1600 cells/ microliter. Please tell me how to find out from which disease I am suffering from.

    Oct. 10, 2018, 9:29 p.m. 4.5

    user_img

    Kapil Bir

    It is good to have an AEC test on a regular basis so that we can get to know about our eosinophil levels from time to time.

    Aug. 24, 2018, 1:43 p.m. 5.0

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    Akash Vera

    I was diagnosed with high AEC during my regular blood test. I thought it is completely normal but now after reading the article i found myself more knowledgeable and will give a visit to the doctor soon.

    Aug. 21, 2018, 5:09 p.m. 4.5

    user_img

    Rajani Roy

    My 9 year old daughter's AEC is 648 and RBC 4.2. Is there any problem?

    June 29, 2018, 11:58 a.m. 5.0

    user_img

    Shawn Hemp

    I have seen Absolute Eosinophil Count many a times on my blood reports. But today, I got to know what does it mean exactly :D

    June 2, 2018, 3:17 p.m. 5.0

    user_img

    More Shravan Yamaji

    April 6, 2018, 6:26 p.m. 4.5

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