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Agranulocytosis

Agranulocytosis is a medical problem which appears when the bonemarrow doesn’t produce enough white blood cells. It lowers significantly thenumber of the white blood cells (under 100cells/mm3), especially the neutrophils. Otherwhite blood cells might also be lowered, including the eosinophils andbasophils.

Decreased number of white blood cells affects the immunesystem and increase the potential risk of illnesses and infections.

Agranulocytosis might be presented with fever, chills, sorethroat, mouth ulcers, gum problems, low white blood cells, body weakness and jaundice.Patients often experience different infections, including fungal and urinary infections,bacterial pneumonia and septicemia. Osteoporosis might also be a symptom ofagranulocytosis.

Agranulocytosis might be congenital or acquired. Congenital agranulocytosisis the condition present since the birth, and the acquired agranulocytosis is acondition caused by some medications. Whatever the type of this condition is,illness is treatable. You should consult the doctor in order to find the bestpossible treatment for your condition.

Risk Factors for Agranulocytosis

There are many identified risk factorsthat may lead to agranulocytosis. Some of them are: aplastic anemia, autoimmunedisorders, chemotherapy, exposure to toxins or radiation, leukemia,myelodysplastic deficiency, serious infections, deficiency of vitamin B12 andgenetic predisposition to this medical problem.

Causes of Agranulocytosis

Congenital agranulocytosis is caused by a genetic problem.

Acquired agranulocytosis is the medicalcondition provoked by: some infections and the use of some medications. Nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), cytotoxic medications, gold,antibiotics, anti-epileptics, anti-thyroid medications and mebendazole areknown to cause agranulocytosis. Other causes of this condition include: toxinsin the blood, different autoimmune or diseases of the white blood cells andaplastic anemia. Bone marrow fibrosis and cancer can also lead toagranulocytosis.

Use of cocaine might be the causeof this condition. Cocaine is often mixed with some animal antihelmintics, suchas levamisole, which can cause agranulocytosis.

Diagnosis and Treatment ofAgranulocytosis

The diagnosis is established aftersome blood test, which determines the number of white blood cells. There might besome additional testing, including the urine and bone marrow testing anda genetic test, to confirm the diagnosis. If the patient is suspected to have anautoimmune disorder, the doctor will ask for anti-neutrophil antibody test.

Possible treatment might includetransfusion of leukocytes, G-CSF or GM-CSF stimulating factors. If thecondition was caused by some other blood problem or infection, a doctor willprescribe medications to take care of the primary problem.

The best way to deal with the caseof seriously low white blood cells is to consult the doctor. He/she will diagnosethe condition and prescribe the therapy suitable to that particular patient.

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