Research Articles





E Manuli, J Intra, G Limonta,  P Brambilla


ABSTRACT: Neutropenia is characterized by an absolute neutrophil count less than 1,500 cells/µL and an increased risk of infection. Retrospective data of 267 inpatients (cases) with neutropenia and 333 inpatients without neutropenia (normal cases) were consecutively collected from laboratory database of the Italian Hospital of Desio. Subjects with neutropenia caused by chemo- or radiotherapy treatment, myelodysplastic syndromes, chronic liver diseases, and drug-induced had significantly higher rates of infection than normal cases (p < 0.01). Patients whose neutropenia was caused by autoimmune or idiopathic diseases showed no significant differences (p > 0.4). Subjects with neutropenia caused by myelodysplastic syndromes or chemo- or radiotherapy treatment had an increased risk of infections from mild and moderate to severe neutropenia (p trend < 0.0001). Patients affected by myelodysplastic syndromes had a significant shift from urinary to respiratory tract (p = 0.008) and to systemic infections with positive blood cultures (SI+PBC) (p = 0.02) compared to normal cases. Subjects with recent chemo- or radiotherapy treatment presented a significant shift only to SI+PBC (p = 0.01). Collectively, it is important to pay more attention to specific causes of neutropenia and the degree of neutrophils count, which are associated with different risks and sites of the infections.

KEY WORDS: Neutropenia, Infection, Absolute neutrophil count, hematological diseases


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