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glossary:neutropenia

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glossary:neutropenia [2012/10/16 14:40] (current)
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 +Not enough neutrophils,​ neutrophils being a type of white blood cell (specifically a form of granulocyte) filled with neutrally-staining granules, tiny sacs of [[enzyme]]s that help the [[cell]] to kill and digest [[microorganism]]s it has engulfed by phagocytosis. The mature neutrophil has a segmented nucleus (it is called a seg or poly) while the immature neutrophil has band-shape nucleus (it is called a band). The [[neutrophil]] has a lifespan of about 3 days.
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 +Neutropenia may be seen with viral infections and after radiotherapy and [[chemotherapy]]. Neutropenia lowers the immunologic barrier to bacterial and [[fungal]] [[infection]].
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 +Granulocytopenia or, as it is also called, agranulocytosis results in a syndrome of frequent chronic bacterial infections of the [[skin]], [[lung]]s, etc. Although "​agranulocytosis"​ literally means no [[granulocyte]]s,​ there may, in fact, be some granulocytes but too few of them, i.e. granulocytopenia. Granulocytopenia can be [[genetic]] and inherited or it can be acquired as, for example, an aspect of [[leukemia]]. ​
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 +Neutrophils,​ eosinophils and basophils are all types of granulocytes. They are named by the staining features of their granules in the laboratory:
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 +Neutrophils have "​neutral"​ subtle granules; ​
 +[[Eosinophil]]s have prominent granules that stain readily with the acid dye eosin; and 
 +Basophils have prominent granules that stain readily basic (nonacidic) dyes.
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 +This classification dates back to a time when certain structures could be identified in cells by histochemistry,​ but the functions of these intracellular structures were still not yet fathomed. However, the classification of granulocytes into neutrophils,​ eosinophils and [[basophil]]s is still widely used (and quite useful).
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 +Granulocytopenia can therefore more specifically involve neutropenia (shortage of neutrophils),​ eosinopenia and/or basopenia. The term "​neutropenia"​ is sometimes used interchangeably with granulocytopenia or agranulocytosis.
  
glossary/neutropenia.txt ยท Last modified: 2012/10/16 14:40 (external edit)