Why are neutrophils lowered in blood, what does that mean?

Neutrophils are the largest group of white blood cells that protect the body against many infections. This type of white blood cells is formed in the bone marrow. Penetrating into the tissues of the human body, neutrophils destroy pathogenic and alien microorganisms by the method of their phagocytosis.

The state when neutrophils are lowered in blood is called neutropenia in medicine. This usually indicates the rapid destruction of these cells, organic or functional impairment of blood formation in the bone marrow, depletion of the body after long-lasting diseases.

About neutropenia say, if the content of neutrophils in an adult is below the norm and ranges from 1.6X10⁹ and less. The reduction can be true if their amount in the blood changes, and relative if their percentage decreases in relation to the rest of the leukocyte.

In this article, we will look at why neutrophils are reduced in adults, and what this means, as well as how to increase this group of leukocytes in the blood.

What is the rate of neutrophils?

The neutrophil count in the blood depends on the age of the person. In children up to one year, neutrophils make up from 30% to 50% of leukocytes, when a child grows up, the level of neutrophils begins to increase, and in seven years the number should be from 35% to 55%.

In adults, the rate can range from 45% to 70%. In cases of deviations from the norm, when the indicator is lower, we can speak of a reduced level of neutrophils.

Degrees of severity

Neutropenia degrees in adults:

  • Light neutropenia - from 1 to 1.5 * 109 / l.
  • Moderate neutropenia - from 0.5 to 1 * 109 / l.
  • Severe neutropenia - from 0 to 0.5 * 109 / l.

Types of neutropenia

In medicine, there are three types of neutropenia:

  • Congenital;
  • Acquired;
  • Unknown origin.

Neutrophils can periodically decrease, then return to normal. In this case, we are talking about the cyclicity of neutropenia. It can be an independent disease or develop in certain diseases. Congenital benign form is inherited and does not clinically manifest.


Modern medicine distinguishes two types of neutrophils:

  • Band-nerd - immature, with not fully formed rod-shaped core;
  • Segmental - have a formed core that has a clear structure.

The presence of neutrophils in the blood, as well as cells such as monocytes and lymphocytes, is short: it varies from 2 to 3 hours. Then they are transported to fabrics, where they will stay from 3 hours to a couple of days. The exact time of their life depends on the nature and the true cause of the inflammatory process.

Causes of reduced neutrophilus

What does it mean? If a blood test shows that neutrophils are lowered, it is necessary to immediately begin active elimination of the cause.

These factors are:

  • long-lasting inflammatory process in the body;
  • severe viral infection (measles, rubella, HIV);
  • generalized fungal infection;
  • parasitic agents (toxoplasmosis, malaria);
  • hereditary pathology (Kostman's syndrome);
  • radiation exposure;
  • chemotherapy in the treatment of oncology;
  • helminths, more specifically, toxins secreted by them;
  • allergies (neutrophils are lowered after anaphylaxis);
  • the action of exogenous toxins (some poisons and chemicals);
  • taking certain medications (chloramphenicol, zidovudine, sulfanilamide antibiotics);
  • lesion of the bone marrow tumor process, including metastatic.

However, to judge the disease only on the basis of a single blood test is not very reliable. In order to make a correct diagnosis, it is necessary not only to estimate the number of neutrophils in the blood, but also other important indicators. That is why many people believe that to make a correct diagnosis is only to donate blood. But blood counts are indirect. Moreover, only with this analysis and without examining the patient, it is difficult to determine what exactly the person got sick with - helminths or rubella.

Segmented neutrophils are lowered and lymphocytes are raised

If segmented neutrophils are lowered and lymphocytes are elevated, the causes of this condition can be:

  • viral diseases;
  • HIV;
  • tuberculosis;
  • thyroid problems;
  • lymphocytic leukemia;
  • lymphosarcoma.

Thus, we can conclude: if lymphocytes are elevated and neutrophils are lowered, then an infection, most likely viral, is present in the body. However, the results of blood tests should be compared with the clinical picture.

If there are no signs of disease, it may be a carrier of the virus. With a decrease in the level of granulocytes with a simultaneous increase in lymphocytes, a full examination is required, since such dangerous pathologies as hepatitis and HIV are not excluded.


It should be understood that there are no direct means to increase neutrophils in adults. For them, the same conditions as for reduced leukocytes as a whole. When a pronounced deviation from the norm is detected, the doctor should take measures to eliminate the cause of the pathology as soon as possible.

If the neutrophils in adults are lowered due to the medication taken, then the doctor must correct the treatment regimen, including replacing or completely canceling the drugs that suppress the production of neutrophils.

In some cases, the cause is an imbalance of nutrients, and then the task is to correct the background of the B vitamins (in particular B9 and B12) with the help of drugs or a diet. As a rule, after the provoking factor is eliminated, the neutrophil count returns to normal within 1-2 weeks.

Watch the video: Neutropenia - Mayo Clinic (January 2020).


Leave Your Comment