Neutropenia - Describe Your Experience

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What is neutropenia?

Neutropenia is a condition in which the number of neutrophils in the bloodstream is decreased. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell also known as polymorphonuclear leukocytes or PMNs. Neutropenia affects the body's ability to fight off infections.

White blood cells are also known as leukocytes. There are five major types of white blood cells:

  1. basophils,

  2. eosinophils,

  3. lymphocytes (T-cells and B-cells),
  4. monocytes, and

  5. neutrophils.

Some white blood cells, called granulocytes, are filled with microscopic granules that are little sacs containing enzymes (compounds that digest microorganisms). Neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils are all granulocytes and are part of the innate immune system with somewhat nonspecific, broad-based activity. They do not respond exclusively to specific antigens, as do the lymphocytes (B-cells and T-cells).

Neutrophils contain enzymes that help the cell kill and digest microorganisms it has engulfed by a process known as phagocytosis. The mature neutrophil has a segmented nucleus (it is often called a 'seg' or 'poly'), while the immature neutrophil has a band-shape nucleus (it is called a band). Neutrophils are made in the bone marrow and released into the bloodstream. The neutrophil has a life-span of about three days.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: neutorpenic, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 16

I was diagnosed with neutropenia at the age of 18, I have been through a battery of tests including many bone marrow biopsies. I am now 31 and no cause has been found, my neutrophil levels range between 0-0.4. I no longer take Neupogen due to a decreasing bone density. I experience chronic gum inflammation, and other mouth sores that I can usually manage. I frequently get colds and stomach bugs that I am able to cope with. I have received every vaccine that I am able to get and function relatively normal under certain infection control precautions.

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Comment from: SusanF, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 07

I was diagnosed with neutropenia a few years ago. I've had several infections pneumonia, blisters on my lips, canker sores, yeast infections, infection and costochondritis, fevers and high blood pressure. But no real treatments given, just whatever clears up whatever infection that arises. I started taking B-12 and multi vitamin. I"m a very athletic person, or I was, but lately all this pain has taken a toll on my mental and physical health.

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