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All to Know about Agranulocytosis

What?

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White blood cells are those minuscule bodies in the blood with the task of fighting infections that created by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and the other germs. One of the important kinds of white blood cells is those known as granulocyte. These kind of white blood cells are made in the bone marrow and go throughout of body through bloodstream. Granulocytes sense infections, find them, and then gather together at these sites to wipe out germs.
Not enough granulocytes in the blood leads to a condition called agranulocytosis. Due to low quantity of granulocytes, fighting the germs will be hard for the body. Therefore, due to insufficiency of granulocytes, the person probably gets sick from infections.

Symptoms

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When there is no infection, agranulocytosis may show no symptoms. The initial symptoms of agranulocytosis can be as follows:
•    unexpected fever
•    painful throat
•    chills
•    weak limbs
•    sores in mouth and gums
•    bleeding gums
•    mouth ulcers
Agranulocytosis may show some other signs and symptoms, including:
•    fast heart beat rate
•    low blood pressure
•    panting
•    abscesses in skin


Causes

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A person may be born with agranulocytosis or he might acquire it. Acquired agranulocytosis may be caused by:
•    Autoimmune diseases
•    myelodysplasia or other bone marrow diseases
•    Bone marrow transplantation
•    Chemotherapy
•    Cancer
•    Nutritional deficiencies
•    Blood transfusions
•    Medicines like penicillin, rituximab, ranitidine, and captopril


Diagnosis


You may be asked about your medical records and general health. Then the medical practitioner may carry out a physical test. Most often the doctor orders a complete blood count (CBC) to find out about the granulocytes level in your bloodstream. Then, in case the CBC results do not indicate a normal status of the agranulocytosis, a bone marrow biopsy may be carried out. In the biopsy, using a needle, a tiny amount of bone marrow is taken away from the hip bone. If the doctor suspects that the condition is the congenital, s/he may order a genetic test.

Treatment

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If the cause of the agranulocytosis is an underlying condition, then before anything, that condition will be treated.
When a medication required for treating another condition is the cause of agranulocytosis occurrence, your medical practitioner may recommend an additional treatment. If you’re taking many different medications, you’ll probably be required to stop taking them. This may be the merely the only method, through which it could be found out that which drug is cause of the problem. Meanwhile, your doctor will probably recommend taking some antibiotics or antifungals to treat the infection.
A treatment known as a colony-stimulating factor could be applied for those who have agranulocytosis due to chemotherapy. The method of treatment stimulates the bone marrow so that more neutrophils could be produced. This treatment could be applied along with your chemotherapy cycles.
A transfusion of neutrophils may be prescribed for some patient as a temporary treatment. However, due to its temporary nature, transfusion of neutrophils is not that common.


Prevention


The mere strategy to prevent agranulocytosis is to avoid the medications that can cause it. If you have to take a medication known to cause the illness, then you should get regular blood tests in order to check your level neutrophil in the blood. Therefore, if your neutrophil counts have been lowered, you might be required to stop taking the medications.

 


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