Neutrophils are a type of white blood cells present in the blood, are part of the immune system of the human body. These are the most common white blood cells in the bloodstream, comprise about 45-70% of the total white blood cells contained in the blood. This type of leukocytes are within the branch of phagocytes, which means that they are able to ingest other cells and die instantly that this occurs.
Neutrophils are white cells of the immune system that first arrive in response to an infection, this process is called chemotaxis. In a healthy adult the reference range for neutrophil counts (AMR) is 1500 to 8000 per microliter of blood, these cells can be divided into bands and segmented neutrophils.
Low levels of neutrophils:
When neutrophil levels are below the normal range it is called neutropenia, this condition may be congenital or acquired as a secondary factor of another disease such as certain types of anemia, leukemia, some cancers, or as a side effect to chemotherapy or other treatments When presenting neutropenia the patient is more likely to contract infections products of the bacteria present in the mouth or the digestive tract, since neutrophils are an essential part of the immune response of the organism.
Neutropenia can be classified according to its severity:
Mild Neutropenia: The minimum risk of infection and its range ranges from 1,000 ≤ RAN <1,500. Moderate neutropenia: The risk of infection is moderate, with levels ranging from ≤ 500 RAN <1,000.
Severe neutropenia: High risk of infection, and its range is RAN <500 Normally, neutropenia can go unnoticed, it is suspected when the patient develops severe infections or sepsis. The most common causes for neutrophil lowering may be: Leukemia. Damage to the bone marrow. Exposure to radiation. Some drugs that are often used for the treatment of cancer. Plastic anemia. HIV. The lower the levels of neutrophils the more likely the organism will get infections. The disease has a mortality rate of 30% of cases.
High levels of neutrophils:
High levels of neutrophils in the blood usually represent the presence of an infection in the organism, this condition is known as neutrophilia, usually the patients do not present symptoms because of the high levels of neutrophils, but the signs and symptoms are related to the disease that caused neutrophilia. These white cells originate in the bone marrow, and remain there until the body undergoes some infection or some type of stress and are released in immune response to combat said infection.
Some of the most common causes that can lead a person to contract neutrophilia are the following:
Medications like corticosteroids.
Chronic myeloid leukemia.
Smoking After surgery.