Shift to the left

Posted by Serge Liberman on February 20, 2005

In Reply to: Shift to the left posted by Smokey Stover on February 20, 2005

"Shift to the left": - a term used in medicine in connection with the white blood cells (neutrophils) that generally increase in their numbers and in their precursor more primitive forms in many disease processes - bacterial infections, inflammations, etc. In more serious medical conditions, the spectrum of neutrophils from mature through their precursor forms ranges in sequence from mature neutrophil, segmented neutrophil, band neutrophil, metamyelocyte, myelocyte and myeloblast, the last of these being most common in (malignant) myeloblastic leukaemia. The "shift to the left" then - in medicine at least - indicates the increased presence of these less mature forms relative to their mature ones.

(Dr) Serge.