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Pleocytosis is an increased cell count {Gk. pleion more}, particularly an increase in white blood cell (WBC) count, in a bodily fluid, such as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).[1] It is often defined specifically as an increased WBC count in CSF.[2]

It is indicative of an inflammatory, infectious, or malignant condition. Although a CSF pleocytosis or the presence of polymorphonuclear granulocytes in patients suspected of having Guillain-Barre' Syndrome (acute demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy) is possible,[3][4] should prompt consideration of other diagnoses, such as HIV, CMV, West nile virus infection, Lyme disease (neuroborreliosis), or other infectious or inflammatory conditions. Other rarer associations with CSF pleocytosis can be searched for. Additional tests include HTLV, HSV, sarcoidosis (ACE levels), RPR, VDRL, AFP, copper, hepatitis panel, very long chain fatty acids

Increased white blood cell count in the blood is called leukocytosis.[5]


  1. ^ TheFreeDictionary > pleocytosis Citing: The American Heritage Medical Dictionary, 2007 and Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary, 2007
  2. ^ TheFreeDictionary > pleocytosis Citing: Dorland's Medical Dictionary for Health Consumers, 2007 and Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 8th edition, 2009
  3. ^ Link H, Wahren B, Norrby E (March 1979). "Pleocytosis and immunoglobulin changes in cerebrospinal fluid and herpesvirus serology in patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome". Journal of Clinical Microbiology 9 (3): 305–16. PMC 273021. PMID 222797. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  4. ^ Rauschka H, Jellinger K, Lassmann H, Braier F, Schmidbauer M (September 2003). "Guillain-Barré syndrome with marked pleocytosis or a significant proportion of polymorphonuclear granulocytes in the cerebrospinal fluid: neuropathological investigation of five cases and review of differential diagnoses". European Journal of Neurology : the Official Journal of the European Federation of Neurological Societies 10 (5): 479–86. doi:10.1046/j.1468-1331.2003.00644.x. PMID 12940826. Retrieved 2014-05-30. 
  5. ^ TheFreeDictionary > Leukocytosis Citing: Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 2008 and The American Heritage Medical Dictionary, 2007