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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Agranulocytosis
      Category : Health Centers > Blood Disorders and Lymphatic System


Alternate Names : Malignant Neutropenia

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Agranulocytosis is a blood disorder in which the person has a low level of granulocytes. Granulocytes are a type of white blood cell. When they are examined under a microscope, they appear to contain granules, or small dark specks. Neutrophils, basophils, and eosinophils are all types of granulocytes. These cells are important in fighting infections.

What is going on in the body?

The bone marrow contains special cells known as stem cells. These are like infant cells that mature into many types of cells. Stem cells may develop into red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Certain conditions can damage stem cells, or change their environment. The stem cells stop making blood cells. A low level of granulocytes in the body is called agranulocytosis. Since granulocytes are important in fighting infections, a person who has agranulocytosis is more prone to different types of infections.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

Agranulocytosis can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • autoimmune disorders, or conditions in which the body attacks its own tissues
  • chemotherapy
  • diseases that damage the bone marrow
  • hereditary disorders
  • radiation therapy
  • use of certain medications, such as clozapine or carbamazepine


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    Agranulocytosis: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Thomas Fisher, MD
    Reviewer: Melissa Sanders, PharmD
    Date Reviewed: 05/17/01

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