- Patient Comments: Neutropenia - Describe Your Experience
- Patient Comments: Neutropenia - Treatments
- Patient Comments: Neutropenia - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Neutropenia - Diagnosis
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How is neutropenia diagnosed?
Neutropenia is diagnosed by a blood cell count performed on a sample of blood removed from a vein. To determine the specific cause of neutropenia in a given situation, other tests may be required. Sometimes a bone marrow biopsy may be required to diagnose the specific cause of neutropenia.
How is neutropenia treated?
Treatment of neutropenia is based upon the underlying cause, severity, and the presence of associated infections or symptoms as well as the overall health status of the patient. Obviously, treatment must also be directed toward any underlying disease process. Treatments that directly address neutropenia may include (note that all of these treatments may not be appropriate in a given setting):
- antibiotic and/or antifungal medications to help fight infections;
- administration of white blood cells growth factors (such as recombinant granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF, filgrastim) in some cases of severe neutropenia;
- granulocyte transfusions; or
- corticosteroid therapy or intravenous immune globulin for some cases of immune-mediated neutropenia.
Preventive measures may also be implemented in neutropenic patients to limit risk of infections. These measures might include strict attention to hand washing, use of private rooms, or in some cases, use of gloves, gowns, and/or face masks by caregivers.
Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care
"Approach to the adult with unexplained neutropenia"