WBC is an acronym for white blood cells. These cells, also called leukocytes, help prevent infection. There are five major types of leukocytes: eosinophils, basophils, lymphocytes, neutrophils and monocytes. A blood test measures the number of these cells.
Your doctor may want a WBC count to help determine your general health status. Doctors may also perform the test to monitor your recovery from an illness.
Special preparation is rarely necessary before a white blood cell count test, according to the Health Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tell your doctor about any medications you take, as they may affect your WBC count.
A normal result, according to the Health Illustrated Encyclopedia, is 4,500 to 10,000 white blood cells/mcL. Normal results may vary slightly from lab to lab.
Leukocytosis is an elevated white blood cell count. Leukemia, bacterial infection or, even, stress can cause an elevated count, according to LabTestsOnline.org.
A decreased WBC count, or leukopenia, may indicate a disease of the immune system. Radiation therapy or chemotherapy can also cause a decreased count.