How to approach neutropenia.
Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2012;2012:174-82
Authors: Boxer LA
Neutropenia is defined as the reduction in the absolute number of neutrophils in the blood circulation. Acute neutropenia is a relatively frequent finding, whereas disorders of production of neutrophils are quite rare. Acute neutropenia is often well tolerated and normalizes rapidly. Neutropenia arising as a result of underlying hematologic disorders is far more significant. Such a patient may be at risk for infectious complications and will likely require a thorough investigation. Acute neutropenia evolves over a few days and occurs when neutrophil use is rapid and production is impaired. Chronic neutropenia may last for 3 months or longer and is a result of reduced production, increased destruction, or excessive splenic sequestration of neutrophils. Neutropenia may be classified by whether it arises secondarily to causes extrinsic to BM myeloid cells, which is common; as an acquired disorder of myeloid progenitor cells, which is less frequent; or as an intrinsic defect arising from impaired proliferation and maturation of myeloid progenitor cells in the BM, which is rare. Severe neutropenia with absolute neutrophil counts below 500/μL increases susceptibility to bacterial or fungal infections. Multiple disorders of severe congenital neutropenia have been found by the discovery of genetic defects affecting differentiation, adhesion, and apoptosis of neutrophil precursors. Elucidation of the multiple genetic defects have provided insight into the biology of the cell involving membrane structures, secretory vesicles, mitochondrial metabolism, ribosome biogenesis, transcriptional regulation, and cytoskeletal dynamics, as well as the risk for myelodysplasia and acute myeloid leukemia.
PMID: 23233578 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]