Atypical lymphocytes: What are they? Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Are you looking to know what they are exactly? This article will explain the symptoms, causes, and treatments of this condition.

It is also quite popular with the name reactive lymphocytes in different countries worldwide. However, you must first know about the lymphocytes.

What is a lymphocyte?

Lymphocytes can be defined as white blood cells that play an integral role in our body’s immune system.

They are divided into two categories: T cells and B cells. Take a look at both in detail:

T cells:

These cells are responsible for protecting the body against many different immune responses that include bacteria, foreign tissues, viruses, etc. In addition, they develop substances known as cytokines to direct activities in immune cells.

B cells:

As we mentioned earlier, T cells and B cells are essential parts of our body. Both help each other to protect the body against diseases. B cells create Y-shaped proteins known as antibodies with the help of T cells.

When an infection attacks the body, the number of white blood cells increases. In medical science, this condition is called atypical lymphocytosis. The body feels symptoms such as protozoa and viral infections during this disease.


Now, we can start with the actual topic of this article, and we will tell you in detail.

What should you know about atypical lymphocytes?

Atypical lymphocytes can be defined as those more significant than expected and respond superiorly to antigen exposure. This cell type can be round, indented, elliptical, or folded. In general, the size of the lymphocytes is more than 30 microns.

It can develop in individuals of almost all ages, whether older than 50 or adolescents. However, people with a weaker immune system are much more likely to develop this condition than healthy ones.

Atypical or reactive lymphocytes can develop in the body in various colors, such as pale blue, simple gray, or deep blue.

What are the leading causes of atypical lymphocytes?

There are many different factors because this condition develops in the body. As we mentioned earlier, this condition is closely related to white blood cells.

These types of diseases are caused by cells that involve sexually transmitted diseases or cancer. However, the reactive lymphocytes do not depend on them and have different causes.

Take a look at the leading causes of this disease below:

  • Allergy to treatments
  • Atypical lymphocytes can develop due to the body’s reactions to certain medications and chemotherapy treatments. It will help if you inform your doctors about allergies to certain drugs and medicines.
  • Viral attacks
  • According to doctors, this condition can be caused due to viral or bacterial attacks in the body. It includes eye infections, common cold, pneumonia, and much more.
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • The atypical lymphocytosis condition can develop due to certain types of autoimmune disorders in the body. In general, doctors advised people with these disorders to follow certain precautions to stay away from the disease of lymphocytosis.
  • Problems are related to stress.
  •  Reactive lymphocytes can develop due to changes caused by pressure and hormone levels in your body. Generally, this type of disease is common in people with endocrine disorders.

How to diagnose atypical lymphocytes?

There are no specific medications or treatments through which enlarged reactive lymphocytes can be treated. To diagnose this condition, doctors will discover the exact reason for the development of these types of lymphocytes.

The specialists will usually perform different blood tests to check the number of lymphocytes present in the body.

In addition, they will undergo a peripheral blood smear if they see any signs of an increase in the number of atypical lymphocytes. During this test, they will smear the blood sample in a glass and then dry it before dyeing it with a dye.

These cells stain a very dark blue color compared to regular white blood cells that stain a light blue color.

After completing the diagnostic process, doctors will decide which antibiotic should be prescribed to reduce the number of cells. In addition to medications, doctors also advise the patient to eat healthy foods and take vitamin supplements.

Home treatments for atypical lymphocytes

A wide variety of home-based treatments are quite useful for treating atypical lymphocytosis. See some of the best that are mentioned below:

Stop drinking alcohol

People who have this condition should stop drinking alcohol altogether. Alcohol consumption increases the amount of T cells and B cells in the body, worsening your condition.