What is Refractory neutropenia?
Neutropenia or neutropaenia, from Latin prefix neutro- ("neither", for neutral staining) and Greek suffix -πενία (-penía, "deficiency"), is a granulocyte disorder characterized by an abnormally low number of neutrophils. Neutrophils usually make up 60 to 70% of circulating white blood cells and serve as the primary defense against infections by destroying bacteria in the blood. Hence, patients with neutropenia are more susceptible to bacterial infections and, without prompt medical attention, the condition may become life-threatening and deadly (neutropenic sepsis).
Neutropenia can be acute or chronic depending on the duration of the illness. A patient has chronic neutropenia if the condition lasts longer than three months. It is sometimes used interchangeably with the term leukopenia ("deficit in the number of white blood cells"), as neutrophils are the most abundant leukocytes, but neutropenia is more properly considered a subset of leukopenia as a whole.
The numerous causes of neutropenia can roughly be divided between problems in the production of the cells by the bone marrow and destruction of the cells elsewhere in the body. Treatment depends on the nature of the cause, and emphasis is placed on the prevention and treatment of infection.