Low Basophils: Causes, Symptoms, Related Conditions and Treatments

This occurs when the count of these cells falls below 20 cells / μl of human blood.

Low basophil count is also known as basopenia .

Basophils are a member of granulocytes, the white blood cells in the bloodstream, and constitute less than 1% of circulating leukocytes.

Basophils share many characteristics with mast cells. Both develop from a common bone marrow derived hematopoietic precursor cell that is CD34 +.

They also have granules that contain histamine, proteolytic enzymes and other inflammatory mediators, have high affinity receptors for immunoglobulin E (IgE) (FcεRI) and are stimulated to release inflammatory inflammations. mediators when they react with secretagogues.

Therefore, both cell types play a role in immediate hypersensitivity and inflammatory reactions.

However, there are a number of differences between basophils and mast cells:

  • Unlike mast cells, which mature in the tissues where they ultimately reside, basophils differentiate in the bone marrow and enter the circulation as functionally active mature cells.
  • Basophils have the ability to chemotaxis and are recruited into the tissues during the inflammatory reaction. However, even in tissues, they can be identified as basophils and there is no evidence that they transform into mast cells.
  • Basophils are smaller than mast cells, are short-lived (<2 weeks), and are probably terminal cells.

Low basophil levels and related conditions

A low level of basophils is known as basopenia. Basopenia itself is not dangerous to your health, but it can be associated with some diseases.

Basophils can pass from the blood to sites of inflammation. This migration reduces their numbers in the blood.

When the basophils release their granules, they are no longer active. These “empty” cells are not included in the basophil count during the calculation.

In such cases, low basophil levels can serve as an additional argument when making a diagnosis.

Causes of low basophils

Some of the causes of basopenia are:


Hives are a type of skin rash with raised, red bumps called hives. They also sting.

This condition is usually caused by an infection or an allergic reaction.

Hives are caused by active molecules, released by basophils and mast cells. Basophils migrate from the blood to the urticarial welts during disease activity, causing basopenia.

Symptoms of hives

Symptoms can last from a few minutes to several months, or even years.

While they look like insect bites, hives (also known as hives) are different in several ways:

  • Hives can appear in any area of ​​the body; they can change shape, move, disappear, and reappear for short periods of time.
  • Bumps, or red or skin-colored “papules” with light edges, usually appear suddenly and disappear just as quickly.
  • When you press the center of a red hive, it turns white, a process called “scalding.”

There are two types of hives:

  • Short-lived (acute).
  • Long-lasting (chronic).

Neither is usually life-threatening, although any swelling in the throat or any other symptoms that restrict breathing require immediate emergency attention.

Chronic hives occur almost daily for more than six weeks and are usually itchy. Each hive lasts less than 24 hours. They do not bruise or leave any scars.

If your hives last for more than a month or if they reappear over time, see an allergist, who will take a history and perform a thorough physical exam to determine the cause of your symptoms.

A skin test and a challenge test may also be needed to identify triggers.

Therapies range from cold compresses to relieve itching to prescription antihistamines and other drugs, such as anti-inflammatory medications and medications that can modify your immune system.


Lupus (systemic lupus erythema a tosus) is an autoimmune disease, during which the immune system attacks healthy tissues. It causes inflammation in various parts of the body (such as joints, skin, heart, and brain).

The inflammatory process in lupus forces the accumulation of basophils in the secondary lymphatic organs, such as the lymph nodes, tonsils and spleen, which reduces the levels of basophils in the blood.

Symptoms of lupus

The most common signs and symptoms include:

  • Fatigue.
  • Fever.
  • Joint pain, swelling, and stiffness.
  • Butterfly-shaped rash on the face covering the cheeks and bridge of the nose, or rashes on other areas of the body.
  • Skin lesions that appear or worsen with sun exposure (photosensitivity).
  • Fingers and toes that turn white or blue when exposed to cold or during stressful periods (Raynaud’s phenomenon).
  • Short of breath.
  • Chest pain.
  • Dry eyes.
  • Confusion, headaches, and memory loss.


Smoking activates basophils and lowers the level of intact basophils. Therefore, smoking often leads to basopenia.

However, a human study with 498 participants found basophilia in smokers.


Corticosteroids decrease both the activity of basophils and their number. If you take these types of drugs, your basophil level may drop.

Anxious depression

A study of 709 participants showed that during an anxious depression, people have reduced basophil levels. It may be associated with the involvement of inflammation in the development of this type of depression

Symptoms of Anxious Depression

Common signs and symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Feeling nervous, restless, or tense.
  • Having a sense of impending danger, panic, or doom.
  • Have an increase in heart rate.
  • Rapid breathing (hyperventilation)
  • Perspiration.
  • Temblor.
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than your current concern.
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems.
  • Difficulty controlling worry.
  • Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety.

Faced with some of the symptoms described, it is important to go to a health center and consult about your health.

Treatment of low basophils

Generally, when a basopenic condition occurs, medical attention should be received in order to treat the possible underlying condition that is generating the low basophil count, since there are multiple causes that can be caused by it.

Natural medicine

When there is a low basophil count, a diet rich in spinach, papaya, sunflower seeds, and citrus fruits may be indicated.