Monocytes (Nursing)

by Rhonda Lawes

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    00:01 Now we're getting to the big boys, okay? These are the monocytes.

    00:06 They are the largest of the white blood cells.

    00:08 They're up to 3 times the diameter of a red blood cell, okay? These are big boys, right? These are really good size.

    00:17 So the percentage of white blood cells is normally 1%-10%.

    00:21 Now half of them are stored in the spleen, and when you get hit with an infection, they get released.

    00:27 So of the total amount of monocytes you have in your body, half of them are ready to go, but they're stored in your spleen.

    00:35 That's why patients who have to have a spleenectomy, a removal of their spleen, are at an increased risk to deal with infection.

    00:43 Because these monocytes are really important; they're mobile, they're mortal, and they can get right into the tissue.

    00:50 So when you're thinking of monocytes, they gave you a great picture to look at.

    00:53 That is like the blob, right? It's really big, up to 3 times the size of a red blood cell, and half of them stored in the spleen, so they respond when you're attacked.

    01:05 Now, here's what they do.

    01:07 A function of the monocytes is, first of all, phagocytosis, wah, wah, wah, wah wah. So that'll eat up the bacteria.

    01:14 Now, they also do an antigen presentation to the T cells, and we'll talk about those in just a minute.

    01:19 And they produce cytokines.

    01:22 So these are like some really bad bouncers, right? These are really big cells, and they do some bad stuff. Well, actually, it's good stuff for your body, but they can eat the bacteria, they can present the antigens to the T cells, and they produce cytokines, which is an inflammatory mediator.

    01:40 Okay, so, now we know what they do. Remember, we talked about that they do phagocytosis, they take care of antigens, they produce cytokines.

    01:48 So it would make sense that we would have elevated monocytes and things like chronic inflammation, the body's under stress.

    01:57 Cushing's syndrome. Remember, that's an endocrine disorder when it's the disease, but when we say Cushing's syndrome, that means the patient has received a lot of excess glucocorticoids as medication, so that will cause monocytosis.

    02:12 It might have a viral infection or even sarcoidosis.

    02:16 Okay, so we've got another long list there. You know what to do.

    02:20 Think through each one of these points.

    02:23 How can you group these together in a way that makes sense to you, so it'll be easier for you to remember? The 2 most important ones I would remember; chronic inflammation and stress.

    02:35 Now monocytopenia, we're talking about low monocytes, can be coming from chronic infections.

    02:41 Okay, now look at the difference in that.

    02:44 You've got chronic inflammation is elevated, but chronic infection is going to be decreased.

    02:50 Autoim mune disease, leukemia or AML, aplastic anemia, excessive glucocorticoids and myelotoxic drugs.

    03:00 So this one is tricky. Just look close at this and you'll have to look at your lab values and look at the patient's history and their current assessment to figure out what is the most likely cause of this change in their monocytes.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Monocytes (Nursing) by Rhonda Lawes is from the course Complete Blood Count (CBC) (Nursing).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Phagocytosis
    2. Antigen presentation
    3. Cytokine production
    4. Production of purulent drainage
    5. Release of antibodies
    1. Chronic inflammation
    2. Chronic infection
    3. Excessive glucocorticoids
    4. Autoimmune diseases

    Author of lecture Monocytes (Nursing)

     Rhonda Lawes

    Rhonda Lawes

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