What is leukopenia?
Leukopenia is a blood disorder characterized by a decrease of leukocytes (white blood cells) in the blood. White blood cells constitute the human body's immune system, for which reason the immunity can be severely affected, leaving the body in a high risk of infection situation.
Several types of white blood cells exist: neutrophils, which compose the defense against bacteria and fungi infections, lymphocytes, producers of chemical compounds that act against foreign elements, monocytes, which adopt the shape of infectious agents, helping the system to create antibodies, eosynophils, which fight agains parasite infections, and basophils, responsible of the response to allergen elements.
Leukopenia's symptoms vary depending on the type of leukocyte which is found in a lower than normal quantity; the process of defense against infections, as well as the processes of illness fight and cure, together with cure of wounds, can be affected by leukopenia.
In adult males, the usual quantity of leukocytes in the blood is between 4,500 and 11,000 per cubic millimeter. A recount indicating a level inferior to 4,000 per cubic millimeter of blood is considered low. However, it must be taken into account that this threshold varies depending on the medical practices, for which reason there can be healthy people with white blood cell recounts considered low. The fact that, in children, the threshold can vary depending on their age and sex must also be considered.Leukopenia Symptoms
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