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.

Get Medical Pearls directly to your inbox every week!
Weekly posts with high yield medical knowledge, directly to your mailbox!
Dr. C Humphreys

Internal Medicine

Published by
Dr. C Humphreys

Recent Posts

Nocturia and OSA: Mechanism

Nocturia is a common symptom associated with obstructive sleep apnea. [1] Img Cred: Am J…

8 months ago

ASD vs. VSD Murmur Difference

ASD (Atrial Septal Defect) Wide, Fixed split S2 (in contrast to the normal variation in…

8 months ago

Mechanism of a Mixed Apnea

Mixed apneas are characterized by absent respiratory effort and airflow in the first section of…

2 years ago

How Does Hypothyroidism Cause Hypoventilation?

Although rare, the differential diagnosis of hypoventilation and hypercapnia respiratory failure includes hypothyroidism. It is…

2 years ago

Why is Pro-BNP/ BNP lower in Obesity?

B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is a hormone created in response to cardiac wall stretch due…

2 years ago

What is Peribronchovascular Distribution on CT imaging?

A common finding described on computed tomography (CT) imaging. A disease with a peribronchovascular distribution…

3 years ago

This website uses cookies.