Friday, 1 October 2010

MRCP revision battle 24.7: Neutropenia and neutrophilia

Your humble neutrophil makes up 40-75% of your white blood cells.
It lives for a mere 5 days.
It migrates towards the 'bad guys' by following the signals of substances including IL-8.
It valiantly phagocytoses bacteria.

MRCP examiners enjoy asking questions about low and high levels of neutrophils...

Neutropenia = low neutrophil count

  • viral infection
  • severe sepsis
  • bone marrow failure
  • neutrophil antibodies (eg SLE, haemolytic anaemia)
  • drugs - chemotherapy, carbimazole

Neutrophilia = raised neutrophil count.

  • bacterial infection
  • MI
  • steroids
  • pregnancy
  • uraemia
  • acidosis
  • gout
  • myeloproliferative disorders

That's all the hard work done for today; for some light relief click this link