Condition 101

What is the definition of Agranulocytosis?

White blood cells fight infections from bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other germs. One important type of white blood cell is the granulocyte, which is made in the bone marrow and travels in the blood throughout the body. Granulocytes sense infections, gather at sites of infection, and destroy the germs.

When the body has too few granulocytes, the condition is called agranulocytosis. This makes it harder for the body to fight off germs. As a result, the person is more likely to get sick from infections.

What are the alternative names for Agranulocytosis?

Granulocytopenia; Granulopenia

What are the causes for Agranulocytosis?

Agranulocytosis may be caused by:

  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Bone marrow diseases, such as myelodysplasia or large granular lymphocyte (LGL) leukemia
  • Certain medicines used to treat diseases, including cancer
  • Certain street drugs
  • Poor nutrition
  • Preparation for bone marrow transplant
  • Problem with genes
  • Spleen enlargement

What are the symptoms for Agranulocytosis?

Symptoms of this condition may include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Malaise
  • General weakness
  • Sore throat
  • Mouth and throat ulcers
  • Bone pain
  • Pneumonia
  • Shock

What are the current treatments for Agranulocytosis?

Treatment depends on the cause of the low white blood cell count. For example, if a medicine is the cause, stopping or changing to another medicine may help. In other cases, medicines to help the body make more white blood cells will be used.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Agranulocytosis?

Treating or removing the cause often results in a good outcome.

How do I prevent Agranulocytosis?

If you are having treatment or taking medicine that could cause agranulocytosis, your health care provider will use blood tests to monitor you.


Cook JR. Bone marrow failure syndromes. In: Hsi ED, ed. Hematopathology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 5.

Klokkevold PR, Mealey BL. Influence of systemic conditions. In: Newman MG, Takei HH, Klokkevold PR, Carranza FA, eds. Carranza's Clinical Periodontology. 12th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 11.

Murphy MF, Pasi KJ, Mead A. Haematological disease. In: Kumar P, Clark M, eds. Kumar and Clarke's Clinical Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 16.

Latest Research

Latest Advance
  • Condition: Agranulocytosis after COVID-19
  • Journal: Cureus
  • Treatment Used: TBO-Filgrastim
  • Number of Patients: 1
  • Published —
This case report describes a patient that developed agranulocytosis after their COVID-19 infection ended that was treated using TBO-filgrastim.
Latest Advance
  • Condition: Patients with COVID-19 with Hematological Malignancies
  • Journal: Experimental hematology & oncology
  • Treatment Used: Azithromycin and Low Dose Corticosteroids
  • Number of Patients: 367
  • Published —
This study identified prognostic factors for poor outcome in patients with hematological malignancies and COVID-19.
Latest Advance
  • Condition: Glycogen Storage Disease Type Ib (GSD Ib)
  • Journal: Orphanet journal of rare diseases
  • Treatment Used: Empagliflozin
  • Number of Patients: 1
  • Published —
This case report describes a patient with GSD Ib that was treated using empagliflozin.