Basophilia occurs when the levels of white blood cell types known as basophils are elevated in the body. These substances will typically rise in blood or bone marrow. A number of different conditions may increase basophil quantity, including respiratory ailments, infections, and blood disorders. Symptoms and treatments for basophilia are thus often determined by these underlying conditions.
The term basophil references a scarce form of white blood cell found in both blood and bone marrow. They serve as important agents in the immune system's fight against infection and injury by promoting responses like blood clotting. An abnormal basophil quantity — or any other abnormal white blood cell quanitity — may therefore signal a serious problem. Levels of basophils that are too low create basopenia, whereas elevated counts lead to basophilia.
Basophila may occur independently, but it is typically indicative of an underlying condition. Ulcers, anemia, and thyroid conditions are a few examples of disorders that appear with basophilia. Since basophils release substances called histamines associated with bodily inflammatory and allergic reactions, infections or respiratory conditions like asthma are a particularly prevalent culprit behind basophilia.
Perhaps the most common reason for the condition’s emergence is a type of cancer known as chronic myelocytic leukemia. This disease impacts the substances responsible for basophil production: stem cells in the bone marrow. As such, cancerous cells dramatically increase all of the white blood cells created by the bone marrow, including eosinophils, neutrophils, and basophils. In many cases, elevated blood cell counts like those found in basophilia are the primary indicator of the leukemia. Conditions that facilitate abnormal blood cell growth inside bone marrow are collectively known as myeloproliferative disorders.
In isolation, basophilia may appear with no symptoms. Indicators concurrent with underlying conditions may signal the problem, however. When one considers myeloproliferative disorders, for example, an enlarged spleen is present during a large percentage of cases. Fatigue, bone pain, and weight loss are other potential symptoms of chronic myelocytic leukemia. Respiratory conditions, on the other hand, typically feature breathing difficulties as the most prevalent symptom. Infectious symptoms vary depending on the type of infection.
Potential remedies for basophila usually depend on treating the source of the condition. For the most severe cases, such as those involving cancer, a bone marrow transplant may be needed. Respiratory causes and infections may benefit from anti-allergy medications and antibiotics, respectively. A physician can recommend the most effective course of action.