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Diseases » Agranulocytosis » Wikipedia
 

Agranulocytosis in Wikipedia

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Agranulocytosis". (Source - Retrieved 2006-09-07 14:24:38 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agranulocytosis)

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Introduction

Agranulocytosis (literally meaning a lack of granulocytes) is an acute condition involving a severe and dangerous leukopenia (reduction in the number of white blood cells) in the body. Concentrations of granulocytes (a class which include neutrophils, basophils and eosinophils) can often drop to below 500 cells/mm3 of blood), less than a sixth of the reference value of 3-10 x 103 cells/mm3.

A large number of drugs have been associated with agranulocytosis, including antiepileptics, antithyroid drugs and some antipsychotics (the atypical antipsychotic clozapine). Although the reaction is generally idiosyncratic rather than proportional, experts recommend that patients be told about the symptoms of agranulocytosis (generally starting with a sore throat and a fever).

The terms "agranulocytosis", granulocytopenia, and neutropenia are often used interchangeably, although "agranulocytosis" implies a more severe deficiency than "granulocytopenia", and "neutropenia" implies a deficiency of neutrophils only. The following terms can be used to specify the type of granulocyte referenced:

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