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What is leukopenia and what she's dangerous


The decrease in the number of leukocytes may be temporary and stop after the end of the main destructive factor, for example, receiving Biseptol or Dipyrone. In such cases of transient leukopenia, it is found in the study of blood, has no effect.

A longer response can be classified as:

  • acute leukopenia (up to three months);
  • chronic (longer than three months).

Such conditions cause suspicion of agranulocytosis, requires full examination and treatment.

Leukopenia is divided into:

  • primary — caused by disruption of the synthesis of neutrophils in the bone marrow or increased degradation;
  • secondary — there are factors that inhibit hematopoiesis.

Depending on the degree of reduction in the number of cells is indicated in the diagnosis of 3 options:

  • mild — about 1. 5x109/l, is characterized by the absence of complications;
  • medium — 0.5 to 1.0 X109/l, there is a risk of infectious complications;
  • hard — to 0.5 X109/l — agranulocytosis, with severe manifestations.

This classification depends on the degree of probability of infection.


In the group of primary leukopenia can be identified:

  • congenital — caused by genetic abnormalities, also called cyclic neutropenia;
  • purchased depends on many factors.

Inhibition of synthesis of neutrophils in the bone marrow occurs when:

  • hereditary pathology;
  • malignant tumors;
  • aplastic anemia;
  • toxic effects of some medicines;
  • the effect of radiation therapy;
  • deficiency of vitamin B12 and folic acid.

Increased destruction of granulocytes occur:

  • after chemotherapy in the treatment of tumors (how to raise white blood cell count after chemotherapy, read here);
  • in connection with autoimmune destructive processes in the body;
  • on the background of viral and other infectious diseases (measles, rubella, cytomegalovirus, tularemia, tuberculosis, malaria, AIDS, hepatitis);
  • in case of delay of cells in the apparatus on the background of hemodialysis (renal failure), prolonged artificial ventilation of the lungs.

More details about the causes of leukopenia read in this article.