Total Leucocyte Count (TLC) assesses the levels of white blood cells (or leukocytes) in the bloodstream. Your doctor might prescribe this as part of the Complete Blood Count (CBC) test to assess any possible risks of infections or underlying complications in the body.

Understanding what is TLC in a blood test and its significance in assessing underlying health complications is crucial for a comprehensive diagnosis and quicker treatment.

This article will explore more about the total leukocyte count test and how you can interpret the results.

What is Total Leukocyte Count?

The TLC measures the level of white blood cells in the body. When it comes to assessing the leukocyte count, it involves the levels of five different types of white blood cells:

  • Neutrophils,
  • Eosinophils,
  • Basophils,
  • Lymphocytes,
  • Monocytes.

If any of these markers appear high or exponentially low in the blood test reports, it is a potential sign of an underlying infection or other acute or chronic complications.

What is the Purpose of Getting a Total Leukocyte Count test?

Knowing the meaning of TLC in blood tests clarifies more than half of your questions. Ideally, the test is prescribed as part of the CBC test that assesses all the blood markers and types of blood cells in the body. They can be part of a routine health check-up or they could be done as a response to an alarming symptom the patient is experiencing.

A comprehensive TLC report can assess the possibilities of:

  • Infections
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Immune deficiencies
  • Blood disorders
  • Side effects of cancer treatments
  • Bone marrow dysfunction
  • Inflammation

If you present with any persistent symptoms of pain, swelling, fever, etc., your doctor will prescribe this as part of your general check-up. The report gives a comprehensive understanding of any underlying complications contributing to the symptoms.

What is the Normal Total Leukocyte Count?

Now that you have a basic understanding of what is TLC in a blood test report, you must know about the normal range of the same. Ideally, a normal range indicates that the person is healthy with no active infections or complications in the body.

The normal white blood cell or leukocyte count is between 4,000 and 11,000/microliters. This could depend more or less on the gender and age of the individual.

Men have a slightly higher WBC level ranging between 5,000 and 10,000/microliters. Adult women, on the other hand, have a range between 4,500 and 11,000/microliters. The leukocyte count in children is similar to that of an adult male at 5,000 and 10,000/microliters.

Remember that these are clinical ranges and might vary during pregnancy, and in newborns. The range can even differ from one testing lab to the other.

Interpreting Total Leukocyte Count Reports

So, you have gotten the CBC test done, and you have the reports in your hand. How do you understand what is high TLC in a blood test and its significance? The same applies to a low level of white blood cells as well.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the high and low total leukocyte count and the possible risks associated with it.

Reports Range Possible Risks
High TLC A level over 11,000/microliters. -Infections







-Tissue damage


-Leukemoid reaction

-Heart attack

-Post-operative complications


-Tumors in the bone marrow

-Inflammatory diseases


Low TLC A level below 4000/microliters. -Autoimmune disorders


-Bone marrow disorders

-Severe infections

-Liver dysfunction

-Spleen disorder



-Effects of cancer therapy

-Side effects of medicines



 Just because a high and low leukocyte count has these possible risks tied to them doesn’t mean you have them. In fact, there are possibilities that it could be a temporary complication in the body that’s instigated due to stress or other factors.

Instead of self-diagnosing or reaching forward conclusions, discuss the possibilities with your doctor. For a more comprehensive diagnosis, your doctor might prescribe further testing.


What happens if the TLC count is high?

A high TLC level in the blood indicates a possible risk of infection in the body. However, that’s not all because several undiagnosed medical conditions can elevate the leukocyte levels too. Your doctor will prescribe further comprehensive testing to ascertain what’s causing the complications before reaching a final diagnosis.

What is a normal range of TLC?

The normal range of TLC is between 4000 to 11,000/microliters in an adult individual or in a healthy child as well.

What is low TLC in a blood test?

A level lower than 4000/microliter is considered a low TLC in the blood test. Your doctor will find a possible trigger for the condition before reaching a final diagnosis.


leukocytes play a crucial role in the overall functions of the body. In case you are experiencing any alarming symptoms, getting the TLC as part of your complete blood count test is considered ideal. It gives an estimate and idea of any underlying complication that needs immediate treatment. The TLC test is a fairly simple and safe blood test that takes a minute or two. 

Prekshi Garg is a young, dynamic, energetic, and meritorious professional biotechnologist. She is a merit rank holder in her post-graduation and a skilled bioinformatician with great zeal to do her best in neurosciences. She is currently working in the area of Neurotranscritomics dealing with neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. She has presented many papers at different scientific forums and is awarded ‘Representing the Institution in Scientific Events’ citation by Amity University Uttar Pradesh and Top position in Student Assistantship Program held at Amity University in addition to awards won for oral presentations in different scientific deliberations. Prekshi has published a good number of papers and book chapters during the start of her academic career itself. Her tremendous skills and knowledge make her a good blend of biotechnology and bioinformatics.

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