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How to Treat Neutropenia

Neutropenia is a condition when the number of neutrophil cells in the blood decreases. This condition can make it difficult for the body to fight bad bacteria, so the body becomes more susceptible to various types of infections. Therefore, it is important to know about how to treat neutropenia.

How to Treat Neutropenia

Neutrophils are part of the white blood cells produced in the bone marrow. This type of white blood cell has an important role, namely to fight bacteria and fungi that cause infections that enter the body.

A person can be said to suffer from neutropenia if the number of neutrophil cells is less than 1,500 per microliter. So, if the number of neutrophils in the body is getting lower, then the risk of a person getting an infection will be higher.

Causes of Neutropenia

Generally, neutropenia occurs when the bone marrow produces more neutrophil cells that are damaged or dead, so that over time the number of these cells in the blood will decrease. In addition to this, there are also several other things that can cause neutropenia, including:

  • Infection occurs, such as blood infection or sepsis, tuberculosis, dengue fever, and HIV/AIDS.
  • Have autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
  • Disorders of the bone marrow occur, such as myelofibrosis, myelodysplasia syndrome, and cancers that attack the bone marrow, such as lymphoma and leukemia.
  • Spleen swelling occurs.
  • Side effects undergo radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
  • Side effects of the use of certain medications, for example epilepsy medications, antibiotics, as well as medications for heart problems such as quinidine and hydralazine.
  • Suffer from malnutrition.
  • Have a birth defect or congenital abnormality, such as Kostmann syndrome.

Signs and Symptoms of Neutropenia

Sometimes neutropenia does not cause any specific symptoms, so neutropenia is often only detected through a complete blood examination. However, if symptoms appear, it is usually caused by complications or conditions underlying neutropenia, for example, lung infections or pneumonia.

Symptoms of neutropenia that appear can be mild to severe. The signs and symptoms of neutropenia are as follows:

  • There is swelling of the lymph nodes.
  • Have a fever.
  • Wounds are difficult to heal.
  • Canker sores for a long time.
  • The skin rash is accompanied by an abscess or pus formation.
  • The body feels weak and easily tired.
  • Suffering from digestive disorders, such as diarrhea and vomiting.

Usually these symptoms can arise when the immune system of neutropenic patients is very weak, so they are easy to get infections.

How to Treat Neutropenia

Before determining the appropriate treatment method, the doctor will perform several complete medical examinations to determine the cause. Usually the examination carried out by the doctor includes a physical examination and supporting examinations, such as complete blood tests, X-rays, and spinal cord aspiration.

After the doctor confirms the diagnosis of neutropenia and has determined the cause of neutropenia, the doctor will then determine how to deal with neutropenia according to the cause of the neutropenia experienced by the patient.

To treat neutropenia, there are several treatment steps that doctors can take, including:

Giving medicines

The doketer will give medicines to treat neutropenia according to the cause. For example, if neutropenia is caused by sepsis or a severe infection, then to treat it the doctor will give antibiotics.

Meanwhile, for neutropenia caused by autoimmune disorders, the doctor will prescribe corticosteroids to treat it.

In cases of neutropenia that are classified as severe, the doctor will give medicines that can increase the number of neutrophil cells. The medicines include granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF).

Bone marrow transplant

How to treat neutropenia in cancer patients or genetic disorders can be done by bone marrow transplantation. This is because cancer or genetic disorders cause permanent bone marrow damage. In addition, a bone marrow transplant may also be performed if other treatment measures fail to treat neutropenia.

Bone marrow transplantation is done by grafting healthy bone marrow from another person into the bone marrow of a neutropenic patient who is no longer functioning. Before undergoing a bone marrow transplant, the doctor first checks whether the bone marrow from the donor matches the patient's body or not. If it is suitable, then surgery can be done bone marrow transplant.

However, this method also has some risks and can cause some complications, such as infection, increased risk of cancer, rejection of new bone marrow, and bone marrow failure.

To be able to find out whether you have neutropenia or not, you can go to a doctor for a health check. The doctor will perform several examinations to confirm your health condition and determine the number of neutrophil white blood cells in your body. If it is stated that you are suffering from neutropenia or other medical conditions that cause neutropenia, then the doctor will provide treatment according to your condition. That's how to heal neutropenias, hopefully the explanation above can be useful.

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