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n. an abnormal decrease in the number of neutrophils in peripheral blood. Neutropenia may occur in a wide variety of diseases, including certain hereditary defects, aplastic anaemias, tumours of the bone marrow, agranulocytosis, and acute leukaemias. In cancer patients it is often due to the deleterious effects of cytotoxic drugs on bone marrow cells. Neutropenia results in an increased susceptibility to infections; if patients become unwell, due to infection, this can lead to neutropenic sepsis, which can be life-threatening. —neutropenicadj.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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