What is AEC?
An absolute eosinophil count (AEC) is a blood test. It measures the number of eosinophils. This test helps to detect allergic diseases, infections, and other medical conditions.
Why is AEC done?
The absolute eosinophil count is done:
- In case of signs or symptoms such as red itchy eyes, coughing, nasal congestion, asthma, dermatitis, or abdominal pain which may suggest an allergy to one or more substances.
- In the case of parasitic infections
- In the early stages of Cushing’s disease
- To diagnose the acute hypereosinophilic syndrome
What does AEC Measure?
The absolute eosinophil count measures the number of eosinophils present in the blood. Eosinophils, a type of white blood cells, helps in fighting the disease. These come into action for are said to be linked with certain infections and allergic diseases. The eosinophils are produced and mature in the bone marrow. They usually take about 8 days to mature and then are moved to blood vessels.
The eosinophils have varied functions which include the physiological role in organ formation such as the development of the post-gestational mammary gland. Other functions include its movement to the areas of inflammation, trapping substances, killing cells, bactericidal and anti-parasitic activity. It also helps the treatment of immediate allergic reactions and modulation of inflammatory responses.
How is the blood sample taken?
The healthcare provider takes a blood sample from the arm. The site from where the blood is to be withdrawn is cleaned with a swab of rubbing alcohol. This is then followed by inserting a small needle that has a tube attached to it for collecting blood. Once sufficient blood for analysis is withdrawn, the needle is removed. The site is then covered with a gauze pad.