About Leucopenia / Leukopenia
Leucopenia is a decrease in the number of total white
blood cells (leukocytes) found in blood. It is also known as leukocytopenia.
The normal total white cell count is 5000-10000
per cubic millimeter. When the total
white cell count drops below 3,500 per cubic millimeter in the blood, the
person is said to be suffering from leucopenia.
a person’s ability to fight infections and diseases as white blood cells
provide natural defense against infections.
Neutropenia is a subtype of
leucopenia and refers to a decrease in the number of circulating neutrophil granulocytes. Neutrophils are the
most abundant white blood cells (WBCs). Sometimes the terms leucopenia and neutropenia are used interchangeably, as the neutrophil count is
the most important indicator of infection risk.
Leucopenia may be associated with various
medical conditions like aplastic anemia and some autoimmune diseases, and
intake of certain drugs. Chemotherapy and radiation can also lead to
leucopenia. Other causes include hyperthyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis and
liver or spleen disorders. Some congenital disorders or viral, bacterial and parasitic
infections can lead to leucopenia.
Some of the common symptoms include infections,
fatigue, sleepiness, fever and headache.
Leucopenia can be diagnosed with the help of a
complete blood count (CBC).
Treatment mainly involves taking vitamin supplements, steroids or other
medications along with a balanced diet and adequate rest.