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Neutrophil count and susceptibility to infection

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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The susceptibility to infection is related to the level of neutrophil count.

Peripheral blood neutrophils (x 10^9/l)

  • 1.0-1.5 - mild susceptibility to infection
  • 0.5-1.0 - moderate susceptibility to infection
  • <0.5 - severe susceptibility to infection

The effects of neutropaenia are not consistent and depend upon factors such as the degree and duration of neutropaenia, underlying cause; host defences, general physical state, integrity of skin and mucous membranes, bone-marrow's capacity to respond to infection, previous antimicrobial therapy.

Patients with neutropaenia secondary to a failure of production are at greater risk of infective complications than those in whom there is neutrophil destruction.

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