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Cyclical Neutropenia

Neutropenia refers to lower-than-normal levels of neutrophils within the blood. A neutrophil (also referred to as a granulocyte or polymorphonuclear leukocyte) may be a sort of white blood corpuscle produced within the bone marrow. White blood cells generally, and neutrophils especially, are important for infection control within the body. A shortage of neutrophils render an individual vulnerable to infection.

Cyclic neutropenia (CyN) isn't present all of the time. The amount of circulating neutrophils decreases and normalizes on a daily basis. It's also called periodic neutropenia or cyclic hematopoiesis.

The periods of neutropenia typically last 3 to five days. The periods return every 14-35 days, often around 21 days.

CyN can occur later in life or be congenital (present from birth), but generally presents becomes evident right after birth. CyN is caused by a change within the genetic instructions (a mutation) to form an enzyme for fighting infection. Neutropenia symptoms result when the bone marrow doesn't produce enough neutrophils, when neutrophils die early, or when these cells don't perform correctly.

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