What is it?

Neutropenia is an abnormally low amount of Neutrophils, a type of white blood cell.
Our blood is made of different types of cells including white blood cells, red blood cells and thrombocytes. Our white blood cells, also known as leukocytes, include a few different cells; basophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes, monocytes and neutrophils. Together, they are responsible for protecting our body from infections. Neutrophils are the primary defense mechanism against bacterial and fungal infections.

There are many different causes for neutropenia. These include viruses or infections, some types of cancers, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, congenital diseases, some medications, autoimmune disorders and more.

Agranulocytosis is an acute condition in which there is a sudden drop in leukocytes (white blood cells), and more commonly a drop of neutrophils (a specific type of white blood cell), causing leukopenia.
This condition may be asymptomatic or present with signs and symptoms of infection that may lead to sepsis, a life threatening condition. Many drugs have been associated with agranulocytosis . Some drugs are especially known to cause neutropenia. Patients receiving them are routinely monitored.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Congenital Neutropenia
- Neutropenia due to Infection
- Drug Induced Neutropenia
- Cyclic Neutropenia

Signs & symptoms

Since neutrophils are extremely important for protecting our bodies against infection, when there are not enough of them, our body is at risk for infections. Symptoms include infection symptoms such as fever, chills etc. Also, in accordance to the type of infection, symptoms may include specific symptoms such as urinary urgency and frequency if there is a urinary tract infection or cough and chest pain if pneumonia is present.


CBC (complete blood count)- This test gives information about the different cells that circulate in your blood. It includes information about white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.
It is usually the first test the doctor will use when neutropenia is suspected. Often, neutropenia is diagnosed incidentally since this is a common blood test that is used routinely.
Other tests may be needed in order to understand the cause. Patients that are at risk for developing neutropenia, such as patients receiving chemotherapy may be screened routinely.


The treatment depends on the cause. If the neutropenia is caused by a drug, it is usually discontinued. Neutropenia as a result of chemotherapy is sometimes treated with medications that stimulate neutrophil production in the bone marrow. Other causes are treated accordingly.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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