Alternate Names : Malignant Neutropenia
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
diseases that damage the bone marrow
use of certain medications, such as clozapine or carbamazepine