MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.
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:
lymphocytes (T-cells and B-cells),
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.