Leukopenia: causes of low levels of leukocytes in the blood

Leukopenia: causes of low levels of leukocytes in the blood

25.05.2022 0 By admin

Content:

Types of leukocytes
Leukocyte norms

Leukocytes (white blood cells) are blood cells responsible for protecting the body from foreign agents. They are one of the most important components of the human immune system, helping to destroy bacteria, viruses, pathogenic fungi, protozoa, as well as their own aged or pathologically altered (mutated) cells.

The main groups of leukocytes

Types of leukocytes

All leukocytes can be divided into five groups:

  • Neutrophils are the largest group of leukocytes. They are the first to react to the appearance of a foreign agent, providing the so-called primary non-specific immune response. Neutrophils engulf the foreign organism and “digest” it with their active enzymes, and also provide information to other cells to form a more specific response, if required.
  • Lymphocytes are a large group of cells that provide a highly specific immune response through the production of antibodies (B-lymphocytes) or cellular destruction of the enemy (T-lymphocytes). They are also responsible for the formation of immunological memory.
  • Monocytes are the largest leukocytes, as well as neutrophils, providing phagocytosis, interferon production and transmission of immune information to lymphocytes to form a highly specific immune response.
  • Eosinophils are a small group of cells that are mainly responsible for fighting parasitic infections and participating in the formation of allergic reactions (hypersensitivity reactions).
  • Basophils are also one of the types of leukocytes, which is responsible for the development of allergic reactions, participates in the formation of an antiparasitic response, as well as an immune response in chronic inflammation.

Leukocyte norms

The total number of leukocytes in the blood normally ranges from 4 to 9 thousand. Any change in the total number of cells or the percentage between their groups indicates a deviation in the state of human health.

Leukopenia is a decrease in the number of leukocytes in the peripheral blood below 45,000.

Causes

Leukopenia almost always indicates some kind of trouble in the body.

Normally, moderate transient leukopenia can be observed after severe viral infections, but in a short time the number of cells should return to normal.

Causes of leukopenia

Also, false leukopenia can be observed in patients in shock states. It is associated with excessive deposition of white blood cells in pathologically dilated vessels of the microvasculature, while there are few of them in the central bloodstream.

The third point at which leukopenia can be expected is the intake of certain medications.

The inhibitory effect on hematopoiesis is exerted by:

  • some antibiotics (sulfanilamide group, chloramphenicol );
  • NSAIDs ( analgin is able to have a depressing effect on all three hematopoietic germs and cause pancytopenia);
  • cytostatics;
  • neuroleptics and anticonvulsants;
  • drugs that block the production of thyroid hormones (mercasolil).

In most cases, in order to restore normal hematopoiesis, it is enough to simply cancel the drug that causes its suppression. Only sometimes the use of special agents that activate the production of leukocytes in the bone marrow is required.

In all other cases, leukopenia indicates a tolerated disease of one of the following groups.

  1. Infections. More often viral, less often severe bacterial, indicating a decrease in the body’s ability to resist and significantly worsening the prognosis. For viral infections, even moderate and mild, slight leukopenia is characteristic in a large percentage of cases.
  2. Autoimmune diseases ( rheumatoid arthritis , systemic lupus erythematosus , Sjögren’s syndrome, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, systemic vasculitis) leading to the production of anti-leukocyte antibodies.
  3. Demyelinating diseases ( multiple sclerosis ).
  4. Oncohematological diseases ( leukemias and lymphomas) often debut with leukopenia up to agranulocytosis (complete absence of leukocytes).
  5. Aplastic and hemolytic anemias.
  6. Radiation sickness that develops under the adverse effects of ionizing radiation. It primarily affects tissues that are characterized by a high rate of cell renewal (skin, mucous membranes, bone marrow). Under its harmful influence, hematopoietic stem cells lose their ability to divide, which inevitably leads to a sharp decrease in the level of leukocytes, as well as platelets and erythrocytes. The severity of leukopenia, the speed and intensity of increasing symptoms directly depend on the received radiation dose.

There are also hereditary diseases in which leukopenia of varying severity is characteristic. Among other symptoms, they will be manifested by a decrease in the body’s resistance to infectious diseases.

Diagnosis of leukopenia

Diagnostics

The leukopenia detected in the general blood test requires further diagnostic actions from the doctor:

  • bacteriological (crops), virological (PCR) or serological (detection of antibodies in the blood) study if an infectious process is suspected
  • determination of the level of CRP, proteins of the acute phase of inflammation, rheumatoid factor, anti-lupus antibodies, etc. if an autoimmune pathology is suspected;
  • bone marrow examination in case of suspected oncohematology;
  • Ultrasound, X-ray, CT and MRI of the relevant areas based on the overall clinical picture of the disease.

The prognosis for leukopenia directly depends on the severity of the disease that led to it.

Video

Photo: © Depositphotos

Leukopenia: causes of low levels of leukocytes in the blood

25.05.2022 0 By admin

Content:

Types of leukocytes
Leukocyte norms

Leukocytes (white blood cells) are blood cells responsible for protecting the body from foreign agents. They are one of the most important components of the human immune system, helping to destroy bacteria, viruses, pathogenic fungi, protozoa, as well as their own aged or pathologically altered (mutated) cells.

The main groups of leukocytes

Types of leukocytes

All leukocytes can be divided into five groups:

  • Neutrophils are the largest group of leukocytes. They are the first to react to the appearance of a foreign agent, providing the so-called primary non-specific immune response. Neutrophils engulf the foreign organism and “digest” it with their active enzymes, and also provide information to other cells to form a more specific response, if required.
  • Lymphocytes are a large group of cells that provide a highly specific immune response through the production of antibodies (B-lymphocytes) or cellular destruction of the enemy (T-lymphocytes). They are also responsible for the formation of immunological memory.
  • Monocytes are the largest leukocytes, as well as neutrophils, providing phagocytosis, interferon production and transmission of immune information to lymphocytes to form a highly specific immune response.
  • Eosinophils are a small group of cells that are mainly responsible for fighting parasitic infections and participating in the formation of allergic reactions (hypersensitivity reactions).
  • Basophils are also one of the types of leukocytes, which is responsible for the development of allergic reactions, participates in the formation of an antiparasitic response, as well as an immune response in chronic inflammation.

Leukocyte norms

The total number of leukocytes in the blood normally ranges from 4 to 9 thousand. Any change in the total number of cells or the percentage between their groups indicates a deviation in the state of human health.

Leukopenia is a decrease in the number of leukocytes in the peripheral blood below 45,000.

Causes

Leukopenia almost always indicates some kind of trouble in the body.

Normally, moderate transient leukopenia can be observed after severe viral infections, but in a short time the number of cells should return to normal.

Causes of leukopenia

Also, false leukopenia can be observed in patients in shock states. It is associated with excessive deposition of white blood cells in pathologically dilated vessels of the microvasculature, while there are few of them in the central bloodstream.

The third point at which leukopenia can be expected is the intake of certain medications.

The inhibitory effect on hematopoiesis is exerted by:

  • some antibiotics (sulfanilamide group, chloramphenicol );
  • NSAIDs ( analgin is able to have a depressing effect on all three hematopoietic germs and cause pancytopenia);
  • cytostatics;
  • neuroleptics and anticonvulsants;
  • drugs that block the production of thyroid hormones (mercasolil).

In most cases, in order to restore normal hematopoiesis, it is enough to simply cancel the drug that causes its suppression. Only sometimes the use of special agents that activate the production of leukocytes in the bone marrow is required.

In all other cases, leukopenia indicates a tolerated disease of one of the following groups.

  1. Infections. More often viral, less often severe bacterial, indicating a decrease in the body’s ability to resist and significantly worsening the prognosis. For viral infections, even moderate and mild, slight leukopenia is characteristic in a large percentage of cases.
  2. Autoimmune diseases ( rheumatoid arthritis , systemic lupus erythematosus , Sjögren’s syndrome, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, systemic vasculitis) leading to the production of anti-leukocyte antibodies.
  3. Demyelinating diseases ( multiple sclerosis ).
  4. Oncohematological diseases ( leukemias and lymphomas) often debut with leukopenia up to agranulocytosis (complete absence of leukocytes).
  5. Aplastic and hemolytic anemias.
  6. Radiation sickness that develops under the adverse effects of ionizing radiation. It primarily affects tissues that are characterized by a high rate of cell renewal (skin, mucous membranes, bone marrow). Under its harmful influence, hematopoietic stem cells lose their ability to divide, which inevitably leads to a sharp decrease in the level of leukocytes, as well as platelets and erythrocytes. The severity of leukopenia, the speed and intensity of increasing symptoms directly depend on the received radiation dose.

There are also hereditary diseases in which leukopenia of varying severity is characteristic. Among other symptoms, they will be manifested by a decrease in the body’s resistance to infectious diseases.

Diagnosis of leukopenia

Diagnostics

The leukopenia detected in the general blood test requires further diagnostic actions from the doctor:

  • bacteriological (crops), virological (PCR) or serological (detection of antibodies in the blood) study if an infectious process is suspected
  • determination of the level of CRP, proteins of the acute phase of inflammation, rheumatoid factor, anti-lupus antibodies, etc. if an autoimmune pathology is suspected;
  • bone marrow examination in case of suspected oncohematology;
  • Ultrasound, X-ray, CT and MRI of the relevant areas based on the overall clinical picture of the disease.

The prognosis for leukopenia directly depends on the severity of the disease that led to it.

Video

Photo: © Depositphotos