Leukopenia: symptoms and treatment

Leukopenia or neutropenia is a pathological process in the human body, which is characterized by a decrease in the number of leukocytes in the blood (below 1.5×10 9 / l). If the white blood cells are completely absent in the blood, then a pathological condition called «agranulocytosis» develops. Most often, leukopenia develops in adults and children after chemotherapy. Correct and timely medication, as well as diet, will help to overcome this disease.


Leukopenia is a polyethological syndrome. The main reasons for the occurrence:

  • Bone marrow lesions are predominantly oncological.
  • Pathologies at the genetic level. In this case, they speak of congenital leukopenia.
  • Myelotoxic leukopenia develops in the human body after chemotherapy.
  • Tuberculosis (leukopenia can develop with any form of it).
  • Disruption of metabolic processes
  • The defeat of the body by infectious diseases
  • The development of neutropenia can result in the reception of various medications: antidepressants, mercury diuretics, antihistamines, chemotherapeutic agents (with chemotherapy).

Development Mechanisms

  1. disruption of the production of leukocytes
  2. accelerated destruction of neutrophils
  3. disorders in the circulation of leukocytes

Leukocytes in the human body are localized in the bone marrow. Then they flow into the organs and tissues with blood. Under the influence of drugs for chemotherapy, the main link of this chain is broken — the bone marrow does not produce mature leukocytes, which are necessary for the normal functioning of systems and organs.


Neutropenia does not have specific symptoms, characteristic only for this pathological process. The expressed symptoms of leukopenia are manifested after an infectious disease joins. This occurs against a background of decreased immunity.

Main features:

  • a sudden increase in body temperature to high digits;
  • chills;
  • persistent headaches;
  • heart palpitations
  • enlarged tonsils
  • depletion;
  • ulcers in the mouth are formed
  • bleeding gums;
  • hoarseness of voice.

Special attention should be paid to the clinical features of the course of leukopenia, which occurred after chemotherapy. In this case, all organs of hemopoiesis are affected, therefore, not only the level of leukocytes in the blood, but also of erythrocytes, platelets (thrombocytopenia) decreases. The first symptom is fever. Later, it joins hemorrhagic syndrome (its cause — thrombocytopenia). The person has hemorrhages and bleeding. Because of the decrease in the level of red blood cells, weakness and general weakness appear. Skin color is pale.

In this case, thrombocytopenia is especially dangerous. Because of a decrease in platelet levels in the blood, a person may have bleeding that leads to a significant loss of blood. If there is such a symptom it is necessary to immediately deliver the patient to a medical institution where he will be provided with qualified medical care. Often, blood transfusion is used to eliminate thrombocytopenia.


  1. Leukopenia of the first degree. The level of «white» blood cells — 1,5х10 9 / l ..
  2. Neutropenia of the second degree. Leukocytes within the limits of — 0,5х10 9 / л. This degree often develops after chemotherapy.
  3. The third degree of the disease is agranulocytosis. The level of leukocytes is less than 0.5 × 10 9 / l. Almost always there are infectious complications. Concomitant pathology — thrombocytopenia

Danger of leukopenia

People who have significant changes in the leukocyte formula and a low platelet count in the blood (thrombocytopenia) are more likely to develop:

  • Oncological diseases
  • viral hepatitis
  • AIDS.

Leukopenia in children

In childhood, the occurrence of neutropenia is indicated by a decrease in the level of leukocytes less than 4.5 × 10 9 / l. The most common cause of this pathological process in a child is an infectious disease (measles, mumps, tuberculosis, influenza).

In childhood, leukopenia can be an adverse reaction to the use of synthetic medications. In newborns, pathology is an indicator of the presence in the body of a child of megaloblastic anemia, hypoplastic anemia, pancytopenia. All these conditions require timely treatment! Infants most often encounter transient leukopenia.

Neutropenia in a child develops more violently. The body temperature rises, sores appear in the mouth, headache, and an infectious disease joins.

Leukopenia in children is rarely found in isolated form, so it is necessary to identify the causes of its occurrence (underlying disease).

Treatment of neutropenia

Treatment of leukopenia should be started immediately, as the diagnosis was established. Many are beginning to be treated with folk remedies, but their effectiveness is much lower than that of medical drugs. There is a certain order of medical events:

  1. laboratory diagnostics
  2. elimination of root causes;
  3. it is necessary to create aseptic conditions for the patient (especially after chemotherapy)
  4. administration of antibiotics and mycostatics
  5. leukocyte transfusion;
  6. restoration of leukocyte production
  7. detoxification therapy
  8. diet.

Folk remedies

The leukocyte formula can be improved with folk remedies and diet. Treatment of leukopenia only in this way is not recommended. Be sure to visit a qualified doctor. Only after his consultation can start treatment.

A good effect is the reception of the following products and herbs:

  • the juice of green beans beans (the most effective folk remedy). After its admission, the level of leukocytes rises;
  • Field horsetail grass
  • motherwort;
  • Sporesh
  • Propolis and wormwood tincture
  • Melon infusion;
  • oat broth.


Whatever the reasons for the occurrence of neutropenia, for a speedy recovery you must follow a proper diet. Nutrition in leukopenia is primarily aimed at activating the process of maturation of blood cells.

  1. The diet should consist primarily of plant foods.
  2. Animal fats are replaced with olive or sunflower oil
  3. Include in the diet soups on fish or vegetable broth. Such a diet will help restore body strength. You can not consume seafood, which contains cobalt and aluminum (after they are taken, the process of hematopoiesis is suppressed).
  4. With this diet, you need to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables.

  5. A diet with leukopenia should include a lot of protein.