Categories: Endocrinology

Why do Steroids or Glucocorticoids increase WBC count?

Leukocytosis is secondary to demargination. Corticosteroids, anti inflammatory glucocorticoids (i.e dexamethasone) and catecholamines (i.e epinephrine) cause leukocytes to demarginate from the vascular wall (endothelium) and microvasculature into the main circulation, contributing to the white blood cell count on CBC. [1]


1. Meredith E. Fay, David R. Myers, Amit Kumar, Cory T. Turbyfield, Rebecca Byler, Kaci Crawford, Robert G. Mannino, Alvin Laohapant, Erika A. Tyburski, Yumiko Sakurai, Michael J. Rosenbluth, Neil A. Switz, Todd A. Sulchek, Michael D. Graham, and Wilbur A. Lam. Cellular softening mediates leukocyte demargination and trafficking, thereby increasing clinical blood counts. PNAS 2016 113: 1987-1992.

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Dr. C Humphreys

Internal Medicine

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