What Is Agranulocytosis And Its Causes?

Agranulocytosis refers to the condition in which your body becomes unable to make enough amount of white blood cells. We know white blood cells help the body to fight certain germs that make us sick. Do not take the condition of agranulocytosis easy.

It can cause life-threatening consequences. Furthermore, individuals can suffer from severe infections after having agranulocytosis. Your healthcare professional will help you to treat it using medications. These medications help your body to produce more amount of white blood cells.

You can call agranulocytosis a blood disorder that is dangerous for one’s life. It appears when your body fails to make neutrophils, white blood cells. These cells are essential parts of your immune system. People may also develop neutropenia in certain cases.

This is also called agranulocytosis or granulocytopenia. It occurs when your body has low than normal amount of white blood cells. People who have low levels of white blood cells are at risk to develop certain infections that are completely dangerous.

They may become ill from the germs even that does not harm a normal individual. The condition of agranulocytosis can even cause sepsis. It is a severe response to an infection. Even more, people with agranulocytosis can die from complicated health conditions.

The symptoms of agranulocytosis are common in females. However, people of all ages can have this disease. You can have inherited agranulocytosis. It is common in babies and children. But adults usually suffer from its acquired form.

The condition of agranulocytosis is common in people who are taking treatments for cancer like chemotherapy. People with certain autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are also at risk of developing agranulocytosis.

If you are taking certain drugs like clozapine as the antipsychotic medication, you are also at risk of developing agranulocytosis. Do not ignore the symptoms of this disease if you suspect that you have agranulocytosis. Consult with your doctor to take timely treatment.

Ignorance can cause serious consequences that sometimes can prove life-theratning. Some consequences result in complications that are irreversible.


Granulocyte refers to the white blood cells that are an important part of your immune system. These cells have enzymes that work to kill different germs. Enzymes break down harmful substances that are not good for your body. Granulocytes have three types.

One is eosinophils, the second is neutrophils and the third is basophils. When the level of agranulocytosis becomes low to dangerous levels, you may have agranulocytosis. You are vulnerable to developing chronic infections if your body does not have enough amounts of neutrophils.

When neutrophils do not increase in number and remain less, the risk of getting frequent infections increases with the passage of time. It can result in chronic infections. There are some medications that lead to acquired agranulocytosis.

Infections, certain medical conditions, and being exposed to chemicals can cause agranulocytosis. Following are other common causes of agranulocytosis.

  • Autoimmune disorders are involved in causing agranulocytosis. These disorders include rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
  • Bone marrow disease and disorders of bone marrow failure can cause aplastic anemia.
  • People who are taking the treatment through chemotherapy are at risk of developing agranulocytosis.
  • Exposure to chemicals and toxins can cause agranulocytoses such as mercury and lead.
  • Infections like Rocky Mountain spotted fever, malaria and tuberculosis can lead to agranulocytosis.
  • If you are taking some prescription drugs like antipsychotics and antibiotics, you are at risk of getting agranulocytosis. Drugs that are used to treat thyroid issues make you vulnerable to developing agranulocytosis.
  • Deficiencies of vitamins and poor nutrition can also cause agranulocytosis.


There are no symptoms of agranulocytosis itself. People who have some infections may develop symptoms. Signs of agranulocytosis manifest gradually. People with agranulocytosis may have:

  • Fatigue and chills
  • Muscle weakness and fever
  • Fast rate of breathing and heartbeat
  • Ulcers
  • Low blood pressure
  • Sore throat ad mouth
  • Bleeding and inflamed gums


Your doctor can use a complete blood count in order to diagnose agranulocytosis. He or she may check the level of neutrophils in your blood. Sometimes doctors can also take a sample of your bone marrow in order to check if your body produces enough white blood cells or not.

How Can Agranulycytosis Be Treated

It is necessary to stop taking certain medications if these medications are inducing symptoms in you. We recommend you talk to your healthcare provider in order to take the right treatment and secure your health. 

Your doctor can recommend the following options of treatment for agranulocytosis.

  • Antibiotics
  • Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF)
  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Immunosuppressant drugs