Agranulocytosis is a condition when the bone marrow fails to form granulocytes, namely the type of white blood cells tasked with fighting infection. Agranulocytosis must be addressed immediately because it can cause serious complications, even life-threatening.

agranulocytosis secondary to cancer chemotherapy

Granulocytes are a group of white blood cells consisting of neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils. Of the three types of cells, neutrophils are the most commonly found in the blood. Therefore, neutrophils are used as a benchmark for agranulocytosis diagnosis.

Under normal circumstances, the bone marrow can form 1,500 neutrophils per microliter of blood. Whereas in agranulocytosis, the number of absolute neutrophils countless is up to 100 per microlite of the blood. In conditions like this, the body will be more susceptible to infection.

Causes of agranulocytosis

Agranulocytosis can occur due to genetic abnormalities derived from parents, so the problem has arisen from birth. This congenital agranulocytosis is also called Kostmann's syndrome.

In addition to genetic abnormalities, agranulocytosis can also be caused by certain conditions. The following are some conditions that can cause agranulocytosis:

  • Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diseases in bone marrow, such as aplastic anemia, leukemia, and myelodysplasia syndrome
  • Viral infections, such as Hepatitis, HIV, and Cytomegalovirus viruses (CMV)
  • Bacterial infections, such as typhoid and tuberculosis fever
  • Parasitic infections, such as malaria
  • Exposure to chemical compounds, such as arsenic or mercury
  • Use of certain drugs, such as antipsychotic drugs, malaria drugs, Rains, chemotherapy for cancer, and drugs for hyperthyroidism

Symptoms of agranulocytosis

People who experience agranulocytosis will be easily attacked by infections because at least the number of white blood cells in the body are in charge of fighting bacterial attacks, viruses, or microorganisms that cause other diseases. Symptoms that can appear when someone has agranulocytosis is:

  • Fever
  • Weak
  • Dizzy
  • Coughs and colds
  • Hard to breathe
  • Shrine and sweat
  • Rash on the skin
  • Sore throat
  • Canker sores that don't improve
  • Pain in bones

When to go to the doctor

Consult a doctor if you experience symptoms as mentioned above, especially if you have conditions that can cause agranulocytosis. In addition, check your doctor if you often experience an infection or if the infection you experience is difficult to recover.

Agranulocytosis is a fairly serious condition. If it is not immediately addressed it can cause sepsis and death.

Agranulocytosis diagnosis

To diagnose, the doctor will ask the symptoms experienced, the patient's medical history then continued with a physical examination. If the patient is suspected of suffering from agranulocytosis, the doctor will carry out additional checks below to ensure the diagnosis:

  • Calculate complete blood cells, to check the number of blood cells thoroughly, especially white blood cells
  • Examination of absolute neutrophil counts, as a continuation of the complete blood cell count
  • Bone marrow aspiration, to check network conditions that produce blood cells
  • Genetic tests, to ensure the possibility of genetic diseases that cause agranulocytosis

Agranulocytosis treatment

Treatment for agranulocytosis will be adjusted to the cause. Some treatment options that can be given by the doctor to overcome agranulocytosis are:

  • Administration of antibiotics

Antibiotics will be prescribed by a doctor depending on the severity of the infection. In agranulocytosis sufferers with a very low number of neutrophils, antibiotics can be given before infection to reduce the risk of severe infections.

  • Colony-stimulating factor granulocyte injection (G-CSF)

The G-CSF is given by injection under the patient's skin. This is done to stimulate the bone marrow to produce more granulocytes.

  • Giving immunosuppress

If agranulocytosis is caused by an autoimmune disease, the doctor will provide drugs that can reduce the excessive immune response.

  • Bone marrow transplant

If it cannot be treated with drugs, the doctor will transplant the bone marrow. This procedure is generally carried out in patients under the age of 40 with the function of good organs.

If agranulocytosis is caused by a certain drug administration, the doctor can stop the drug, adjust the dose, or replace the drug with another alternative.

Agranulocytosis complications

If it's not handled properly, agranulocytes can cause sepsis. Sepsis is an infection reaction that can make blood pressure drop drastically and damage many organs. This condition is dangerous and can cause death.

Prevention of agranulocytosis

Agranulocytosis cannot be prevented unless this condition is caused by drugs that can be replaced. Important things that need to be prevented from agranulocytosis conditions are infections.

You can reduce the risk of infection with as much as possible to avoid crowded places and potential food exposure to bacteria, such as fruit or vegetables that are not washed or peeled cleanly. In addition, you also need to pay more attention to your body cleanliness.

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