White blood cell differential

When a child has blood drawn for a complete blood count (CBC), one section of the lab report will state the total white blood cell count and a "differential." This means that each type of white blood cell will be listed as a percentage of the total. For example, if the total WBC count is 1,500 mm3, the differential might appear as in the following table:

White Blood Cell Type

Percentage of Total WBC

Segmented neutrophils (also called polys or segs)


Band neutrophils (also called bands)


Basophils (also called basos)


Eosinophils (also called eos)


Lymphocytes (also called lymphs)


Monocytes (also called monos)


You might also see cells called metamyelocytes, myelocytes, promyelocytes, and myeloblasts listed. These are immature white cells usually only found in the bone marrow. They may be seen in the blood during recovery from low counts.

The differential is obtained by microscopic analysis of a blood sample on a slide.

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