The presence of mild basophilia can be found in a wide range of conditions.

Basophilia is associated with an absolute basophil count > 300 per µL.


absolute basophil count =

= (white blood cell count per microliter) * (percent basophils in the peripheral blood)


Benign conditions associated with absolute basophilia:

(1) hypersensitivity reaction

(2) hypothyroidism

(3) anemia (iron deficiency, aplastic anemia, other)

(4) ulcerative colitis

(5) postsplenectomy state

(6) chronic sinusitis

(7) nephrotic syndrome

(8) viral infection (chickenpox, smallpox, other)

(9) helminth infections


More serious ematologic disorders associated with absolute basophilia:

(1) Hodgkin's lymphoma

(2) chronic myelogenous leukemia or other myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN)

(3) acute basophilic leukemia

(4) myelodysplastic syndrome (which may be combined with MPN)

(5) following radiation exposure


Mild. persistent basophilia may be the initial presentation of chronic myeloproliferative neoplasm.


Questions to ask:

(1) How old is the patient?

(2) Is the absolute basophilia transient or persistent?

(3) Is there an accompanying bone marrow basophilia?

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