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I have a school friend who was sick since I know him. However, lately I found out he has problem with autoimmune leukopenia. We were talking a lot about it, but it seems his friends cannot undeststand him. That is why I was wondering could you tell us more about autoimmune leukopenia. Is that some dangerous disease, and is there anything we could do for him?

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The terms autoimmune leukopenia, autoimmune neutropenia, and autoimmune granulocytopenia, are often used synonymously to describe the same condition. Problem is that autoantibodies to mature neutrophils, or their precursors, lead to cell destruction and a reduced blood neutrophil count. Leukopenia is generally defined as a reduction in the total white blood cell count. In serious cases, it is going to less than 4,000 cells per deciliter. In the same time, neutropenia is defined as a neutrophil count of less than 1,800 cells per deciliter, which occurs because of abnormalities in the distribution of cells between the circulating. Autoimmune leukopenia can be caused by any of the mechanisms that I told you. Although the term leukopenia often implies neutropenia, there are many other pathologic conditions, in which neutrophils and other blood cells are reduced. Lymphocytopenia is a common feature of the stress response to many infections and acute inflammatory illnesses, and is similar to problem with autoimmune leukopenia. For you it is important to understand that reductions in any of the white blood cell elements may reflect an important ongoing pathologic process. That is why all of you should give your friend full maintenance.
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