Home Faculty and Staff Hospitals and Offices Education / Fellowships Make an Appointment
Keck School of Medicine of USC - University of Southern California
Department of Surgery
Department links
Home Physicians Locations Education Society of Graduate Surgeons Contact Us Divisions and Institutes
CardioVascular Thoracic Institute
image map
Areas of Expertise Diseases & Treatments Clinical Trials Research News & Articles Videos Web Links
Patient Guides & Programs Visitor's Guide Forms & Downloads About CVTI Make a Gift Contact Us

Glossary of Terms

White Blood Cells

White blood cells, also called leukocytes, help the body fight against infections. The number of white cells in the blood is often an indicator of disease, with more white cells being created during an infection. In addition to fighting against disease, white cells defend the body against foreign materials.

White blood cells, like red blood cells, are produced in the marrow. White cells have the unusual ability of being able to leave and enter the blood stream at will, traveling to other body tissues when needed.

Granulocytes, a type of white blood cell, act as scavengers and are able to remove bacteria and debris or dying tissue from damaged or infected areas. Another type of white blood cell, lymphocytes, are involved in the production of antibodies. A count of the number of white cells indicates whether this mechanism of bodily defense is at work. During an infection, the white count will be elevated.

Related link: Leukemia

Share this page:
Call us for an Appointment at (323) 442-5849
Patient Guides & Programs
Department of Surgery Home Divisions Physicians Locations Contact Us Education Society of Graduate Surgeons Keck School of Medicine of USC University of Southern California