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Hematology: band neutrophil

ISSN 2398-2950

Contributor(s) :


  • Immature, unsegmented neutrophils normally found circulating in small numbers.
  • Assess numbers relative to mature neutrophil count Hematology: neutrophil:
    • Regenerative left-shift: mature neutrophils Hematology: neutrophil outnumber bands and are elevated or normal.
    • Degenerative left-shift: bands and/or less mature leucocytes outnumber mature neutrophils.


In combination

Other points

Features of left-shift

  • Leucocytosis due to neutrophilia.
  • 'Leukemoid reaction' (appearance of earlier developmental forms) may appear with excessive neutrophil demand, eg pyometra.
  • Numbers from immature to mature forms progressively increase, ie more mature neutrophils than band forms, more band forms than metamyelocytes, etc.

Features of degenerative left-shift

  • Leucopenia common, but may see normal leucogram or leucocytosis (rarely).
  • The number of immature neutrophils exceeds the number of mature forms.
  • Can also get a toxic degenerative left-shift Doehle bodies. It is however important to bear in mind that a small percentage of Doehle bodies can be found in a normal cat.


Source of test material

Quantity of test material


Result Data

Normal (reference) values

  • May vary slightly with laboratory, usually <0.3 x 10*9/l.

Abnormal values

  • Acute severe infections - neutrophilia with regenerative left-shift - tends to subside with chronicity and during recovery.
  • Septicemia or overwhelming infections - may be associated with degenerative left-shift and toxic neutrophils.
  • Tissue damage.
  • Regenerative anemia, eg IMHA.
  • Primary polycythemia - in combination with increased red blood cell parameters, eg PCV.

Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMedResource and PubMed.
  • Kipar A et al (1998) Cellular composition, coronavirus antigen expression and production of specific antibodies in lesions in feline infectious peritonitis. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 65 (2-4), 243-257.

Other sources of information

  • Cowell R L, Tyler R D & Meinkoth J H (1999) Diagnostic Cytology and Hematology of the Dog and Cat. 2nd edn. Mosby, USA.
  • Duncan J R, Prasse K W & Mahaffy E A (1994) Veterinary Laboratory Medicine Clinical Pathology. 3rd edn. Iowa University Press, USA.
  • Jain N C (1993) Essentials of Veterinary Hematology. Lea & Febiger, USA.