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Neutropenia is the abnormally small number of neutrophil cells in the blood. Neutrophils are a granular white blood cell, the most common type of white blood cell. They are responsible for much of the bodies protection against infection. Patients with neutropenia are more vulnerable to bacterial infections.

Without prompt medical attention, Neutropenia may become life-threatening. Neutropenia can be acute or chronic and clinically is broken up into four levels based on severity.

signs and symptoms of neutropenia

Neutropenia is often a silent disease, that being one which is often difficult to see at first.
Therefore, neutropenia symptoms are generally discovered at a later stage when a patient has developed severe infections or sepsis. During an infection in these types of patients, common infections often take an unexpected course. For example, formation of pus, can be notably absent, as the formation of pus requires circulating neutrophils.

The following list of neutropenia symptoms is not indicative of the diagnosis of neutropenia, as many of the symptoms are general in nature and may refer to any number of diseases. Rather, the following list is a list of symptoms that often associate with the disease.

  • Frequent infections - as mentioned above.
  • Unusual redness, pain, or swelling around wounds
  • Fever
  • Diarrhoea
  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • Frequent Sore throats
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Shaking chills
diagnoses of neutropenia

Depending on the severity of the disharmony, there are four general guidelines used to classify the severity of neutropenia based on the absolute neutrophil count (ANC) measured in cells per microlitre of blood:

  • Neutropenia: x < 2000 = slight risk of infection
  • Mild Neutropenia: 1000 < x < 1500 = minimal risk of infection
  • Moderate Neutropenia: 500 < x < 1000 = moderate risk of infection
  • Severe Neutropenia: x < 500 = severe risk of infection.
causes and types of neutropenia

Autoimmune Neutropenia

Common in infants and toddlers. The body identifies the neutrophils as foreign bodies and makes antibodies to destroy them thus attacking itself (autoimmune). This form typically begins to get better within two years of diagnosis.

Congenital Neutropenia ( Kostmann’s Syndrome )

A rare inherited form of Neutropenia. It affects children most often, and may result in premature loss of teeth and gum infections. The most severe form of chronic congenital neutropenia is known as Kostmann’s Syndrome.

Cyclic Neutropenia

Forming a rhythm, this type of neutropenia forms a cycle, occurring typically every three weeks and lasting three to six days at a time due to changing rates of cell production by the bone marrow. It is often familial, and typically improves after puberty. This is the rarest form of severe chronic neutropenia.

Idiopathic Neutropenia

A rare form which develops in children and adults typically in response to an illness or disease. It is diagnosed when the disorder cannot be attributed to any other diseases and often causes life-threatening infections.

Disclaimer: Information shared in this section is indicative. Please do not make any conclusion and we strongly recommend you to consult with your Doctor. Symptoms may vary with individual, geography, climate and lifestyle