Leukopenia (or leukocytopenia) is defined as a fall in the number of blood leukocytes to under 4,000 white cells per cubic millimetre of blood. It may only affect the granulocytes (in which case we refer to neutropenia) or the lymphocytes (lymphopenia).
Causes of leukopenia
Leukopenia may be due to a fall in the production of white cells by the bone marrow or to an increase in their disappearance.
It may occur as a result of taking some cytostatic medicines, but may also to be infectious or due to irradiation.
Consequences of leukopenia
It exposes the patient to a high risk of infection.
Leukopenia is a pathological fall in the number of white cells in the blood. © DR