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Blood cells
Blood cells


Agranulocytosis

Definition:

Agranulocytosis is a condition in which the bone marrow does not make enough of a certain type of mature white blood cells (neutrophils). Bone marrow is the soft tissue inside bones that helps form blood cells.



Alternative Names:

Granulocytopenia; Granulopenia



Causes:

Agranulocytosis may be caused by:

  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Bone marrow diseases, such as myelodysplasia or large granular lymphocyte (LGL) leukemia
  • Certain medicines used to treat diseases
  • Certain street drugs
  • Chemotherapy
  • Poor nutrition
  • Preparation for bone marrow transplant
  • Problem with genes

Agranulocytosis results in a person not having enough of a specific type of white blood cells, called neutrophils or granulocytes. A low neutrophil count (neutropenia) may also occur when white blood cells are destroyed faster than they can be produced.



Symptoms:

Persons with this condition are more likely to have fevers and infections.



Exams and Tests:

A blood differential test will be done to measure the percentage of each type of white blood cell in your blood.



Treatment:

Treatment depends on the cause of agranulocytosis. For example, if a medicine is the cause, stopping or changing to another drug may help. In other cases, medicines to help the body make more white blood cells will be used.



Outlook (Prognosis):

Treating or removing the cause usually results in a good outcome.



Prevention:

If you are having treatment or taking medicine that could cause agranulocytosis, your health care provider will use blood tests to monitor you.



References:

Maciejewski JP, Tiu RV. Acquired disorders of red cell, white cell, and platelet production. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ Jr, Silberstein LE, et al., eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 30.




Review Date: 5/29/2014
Reviewed By: Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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Morristown Medical Center

100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

Overlook Medical Center

99 Beauvoir Avenue
Summit, NJ 07901
908-522-2000

Newton Medical Center

175 High Street
Newton, NJ 07860
973-383-2121

Chilton Medical Center

97 West Parkway
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
973-831-5000

Goryeb Children's Hospital

100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

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Atlantic Medical Group

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