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
- 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
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.
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.
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.
Posted by Staff at July 7, 2005 5:52 AMblog comments powered by Disqus
My doctor has no idea why I have neutropenia. She thinks it is cyclic neutropenia and she wants to send me to Washington D.C. National Institute of Health. I do not have any infections and do not get sick often. I am 38 years old. I am really tired of being nervous about getting an infection. I also have Celiac disease which is totally under control with a gluten-free diet. Could there be a connection between the two conditions?
Posted by: victoria wolfe at January 25, 2006 1:43 AM
I have Neutropenia and have coped VERY well with
my condition for most of my life. I don't know how I am not sicker but if any other person out there with Neutropenia would like some helpful
tips on how to cope let me know and I shall tell
you some things I have found to work. The biggest
problem is Worrying about your levels daily can make you feel worse! I am doing well but fighting
against 'others' who don't see my sickness as that bad as I am not bedridden!!!!!!!
Posted by: Marion at March 17, 2006 7:18 AM
I have been treated for idiopathic neutropenia for three years now. Most days I function normally and am able to carry on with my normal "hectic" schedule. However, on my "bad days", I get bad infections where I am so exhausted, I have to rest after a shower!!
Trying to explain your illness is crazy because no one has ever heard of it. You don't look sick all the time, so they assume it isn't serious.
I would like to talk to other people with neutropenia to see how they deal with things.
Any interested parties, please email me.
Posted by: Annette Maes at June 30, 2006 7:32 PM
I HAVE A IDIOPATHIC NEUTROPENIA, BUT SEEMS TO BE A RELATIVELY MILD CASE. I DO HAVE TO MISS A COUPLE OF DAYS OF WORK FAIRLY OFTEN. I GET BOILS AND PHARYNGITIS AND FEEL REALLY ACHY AND TIRED QUITE OFTEN. I FEEL LIKE MY FAMILY GETS TIRED OF HEARING ME SAY I DON'T FEEL GOOD. HOW DOES IT AFFECT ANY OF YOU OUT THERE AND IS YOURS CYCLIC OR WHAT? THANKS. :)
Posted by: JENNIFER DEAN at August 31, 2006 11:33 PM
I'm trying to understand the nature of idiopathic neutropenia. I don't have it but there is a very real possibility I may soon, but it's description and effects, in my research, remains obscure to me. Do you, and when, and by what real, up-front symptoms, do you have it. Is it a nuisance, a bother, or just horribly dreadful? Anyone care to shed some light on this? Much appreciated,
Posted by: Dale at October 30, 2006 9:24 PM