A potentially life threatening disorder in which there is an extreme acute lack of neutrophils (white blood cells that seek and destroy infective microorganisms). This deficiency gravely weakens the body’s defences against infection.
In agnanulocytosis the bone marrow fails to produce enough neutrophils. This can occur as an adverse effect of a drug such as carbimazole (used to treat thyroid diseases) or as an effect of chemotherapy. Mouth ulcers and fever are typical symptoms.
Treatment involves stopping the causative drug. Antibiotic drugs can be used to treat any specific infection, and a drug to stimulate production of neutrophils in the bone marrow can also be administered.