The purpose of total white blood cell and differential counts is to aid in diagnosis and prognosis. The typical textbook account of an acute infectious disease describes a leukocytosis and polynucleosis accompanying the rise in temperature and the appearance of symptoms and signs. It is a common experience, however, that frequently the most serious conditions are associated with an apparent depression of the myelocytic response.
In an attempt to obtain clearer correlation between the clinical picture and the white cell response, total white blood counts and Schilling index determinations were made in about 200 subjects, which included controls and patients admitted as a routine to the wards of the Second Medical Division of Bellevue Hospital.
Total counts were made with standardized pipets and, as far as possible, each patient was studied during the same time of day. The Schilling counts were performed on cover slips, stained with Wright's stain and