What is agranulocytosis?

What is agranulocytosis?

Listen to pronunciation. (ay-GRAN-yoo-loh-sy-TOH-sis) A serious condition that occurs when there is an extremely low number of granulocytes (a type of white blood cell) in the blood. Granulocytes are an important part of the immune system and help the body fight infection.

Is agranulocytosis curable?

Agranulocytosis is treatable with medication, but the outlook varies from person to person. Adults over 65 are more likely to experience complications such as sepsis. Agranulocytosis can cause severe problems in people who have other health conditions, such as kidney disease, heart disease or breathing problems.

What is agranulocytosis vs neutropenia?

The terms agranulocytosis, granulocytopenia and neutropenia are sometimes used interchangeably. Agranulocytosis implies a more severe deficiency than granulocytopenia. Neutropenia indicates a deficiency of neutrophils (the most common granulocyte cell) only.

What causes granulocytopenia?

Granulocytopenia may result from congenital or acquired defective production of granulocyte precursors or it may be a consequence of increased destruction of mature granulocytes, most frequently caused by immune mechanisms.

How quickly does agranulocytosis occur?

Agranulocytosis usually occurs within the first 2–3 months of treatment (2); however, certain cases have demonstrated that agranulocytosis may occur following long-term treatment (3).

What is the most common source of neutropenic fever?

The most common causes of neutropenic fever are cancer treatments like chemotherapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). Diagnosis of neutropenic fever involves clinical examination, laboratory tests and cultures, and chest X-rays.

Is febrile neutropenia the same as neutropenic sepsis?

In clinical practice the terms febrile neutropenia and neutropenic sepsis are used interchangeably in this patient group and recommendations within this document use the term “neutropenic sepsis” to indicate the full range of severity of illness. The neutrophil or granulocyte forms part of the innate immune system.

Which drugs can cause agranulocytosis?

Drugs that can cause agranulocytosis include:

  • antithyroid medications, such as carbimazole and methimazole (Tapazole)
  • anti-inflammatory medications, such as sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), dipyrone (Metamizole), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • antipsychotics, such as clozapine (Clozaril)

What drugs cause granulocytopenia?


Drug classes Drugs
Gastrointestinal drugs Cimetidine, famotidine, mesalamine, metoclopramide, omeprazole, pirenzepine, ranitidine
Antiplatelet drugs Clopidogrel, dipyridamole, ticlopidine
Biologicals Alemtuzumab, infliximab, rituximab, tozilizumab

Recent Posts