A decreased level of neutrophils in bloodstream makes a condition called neutropenia. Neutrophils are white blood cells that are also called polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN). The condition neutropenia increases ability of body to fight against infections.
White blood cells are actually leukocytes and there five type of white cells: basophils, lymphocytes (T-cells and B-cells), monocytes and neutrophils and eosinophils. There are also white blood cells granulocytes that have microscopic granules with little enzymes, which are components that digest micro-organisms. Neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils are granulocytes and have non-specific general activity. Neutrophils have enzymes that kill cells and digest micro-organisms. And that is process called phagocytosis. Neutrophils are created in bone marrow and released in bloods, and lasts about 3 days.
The normal number of white cells varies between 4,300 -10,800 cells per microlitre (cubic millimetre -cmm). The WBC is actually a leukocyte count and is 4.3 x 109to 10.8 x 109 cells per litre. The % of the he WBC in different types of white blood cells is called WBC differential. (ANC) the count of neutrophil is a product of the white blood cell count (WBC) and the fraction of neutrophils among the white blood cells can be checked with WBC differential analysis. Neutropenia can be severe if the ANC if it is under 500/microL, moderate if ANC is 500-1000/microL and light if the ANC is 1000 to 1500/microL,
Neutropenia is diagnosed through a sample of blood from vein. Perhaps a bone marrow biopsy can diagnose the specific cause of neutropenia. However there are some other medical terms that should be mentioned.
-Agranulocytosis means having no granulocytes, and is a severe neutropenia.
-Leukopenia means reduced number of white blood cells and granulocytopenia means a decreased number of all the granulocyte-type blood cells.
-Neutrophils have lots of other types of granulocytes, and are neutropenia.
The Causes of Neutropenia
Neutropenia can be present in Yemenite Jews, African or Arabic descent. The condition is about decreased production of neutrophils, missing of neutrophils after they are produced, or accumulation of the neutrophils out of the way. There are medical conditions that can cause neutropenia: vitamin deficiencies, infections, cancer chemotherapy or drugs that can damage bone marrows, leukaemia, hypersplenism, a plastic anemia, myelofibrosis etc, radiation therapy, congenital disorders of bone marrow, neutrophils autoimmune, production of neutrophil, Kostmann syndrome etc...
Neutropenia can cause an increased possibility of getting bacterial infections. The most common type of infections is bacteria on the skin, like staphylococcus aureus or urinary tract and gastrointestinal. Fungal infections are possible with patients that suffer neutropenia. The infections can stick to a certain body parts such as skin, oral cavity, genital area etc. But severe and prolonged neutropenia can be spread via the bloodstream to the lungs or elsewhere.
The treatment of neutropenia depends of underlying cause, the level and symptoms of the patient and can be: granulocyte transfusions, antibiotic (antifungal medications), to fight infections with all other options, administration of white blood cells growth, intravenous immune globulin or corticosteroid therapy etc...