Definition of Agranulocytosis or Severe Neutropenia

In this article, we will discuss the Definition of Agranulocytosis or Severe Neutropenia. So, let’s get started.


Neutropenia is defined as circulatory neutrophil count below 1.5×10⁹/L (<1500 cells/L). The term agranulocytosis means a virtual absence of neutrophils, is used when neutropenia occurs as a reaction (immunologic) to drugs. This is an acute medical emergency characterized by high grade fever, sore throat and oral and/or perianal ulcers. Recovery is the rule if if the offending drug is withdrawn and infection is prevented.

Consequences of neutropenia

Neutropenia is mild when the count is between 1000 and 1,500 cells/L and may have no consequence.

When neutrophil count falls below 1000 cells/L, the susceptibility to infections increases.

When the count is less than 500 cells/L, control of endogenous microflora (mouth, gut) is impaired and opportunistic infections become common.

When absolute count of neutrophils (band forms and mature neutrophils combined) falls below 100 cells/L, the inflammatory process is absent, needs aggressive treatment and immunization against infection.

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