Neutrophil %

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Neutrophils are the most common type of white blood cell, comprising about 50-70% of all white blood cells. They are phagocytic, meaning that they can ingest other cells, though they do not survive the act. Neutrophils are the first immune cells to arrive at a site of infection, through a process known as chemotaxis.
Neutrophils are the type of white blood cells that fight off infection. However, neutrophils are also basically the early type of cell produced so an infection from some viruses can cause an increase in neutrophils early on the infection as well. In addition, stress can also do this.
Though neutrophils are short lived, with a half-life of four to ten hours when not activated and immediate death upon ingesting a pathogen, they are plentiful and responsible for the bulk of an immune response. They are the main component of pus and responsible for its whitish color. Neutrophils are present in the bloodstream until signaled to a site of infection by chemical cues in the body. They are fast acting, arriving at the site of infection within an hour.
Before ingesting invasive bacteria, neutrophils can release a net of fibers called a neutrophil extracellular trap (NET), which serves to trap and kill microbes outside of the cell. When neutrophils ingest microbes, they release a number of proteins in primary, secondary, and tertiary granules that help kill the bacteria. They also release superoxide, which becomes converted into hypochlorous acid, or chlorine bleach, which is theorized to play a part in killing microbes as well.
A deficiency of neutrophils is called neutropenia and may be congenital or acquired, for example in certain kinds of anemia and leukemia, or as a side effect of chemotherapy. Since neutrophils are such an important part of the immune response, a lowered neutrophil count results in a compromised immune system.
Neutrophils may also malfunction, causing more harm to the body than they prevent. In alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency, for example, inflammation, part of a normal immune response, leads to tissue damage. In Familial Mediterranean fever, the immune response is also so acute and prolonged that it can lead to a number of dangerous complications.
Any infection or acute stress increases your number of white blood cells. High white blood cell counts may be due to inflammation, an immune response, or blood disorders such as leukemia.
It is important to realize that an abnormal increase in one type of white blood cell can cause a decrease in the percentage of other types of white blood cells.
An increased percentage of neutrophils may be due to:
·Acute infection  
·Myelocytic leukemia  
·Rheumatoid arthritis  
·Rheumatic fever  
·Acute stress  
A decreased percentage of neutrophils may be due to:
·Aplastic anemia  
·Widespread bacterial infection  
·Radiation therapy or exposure  
The neutrophil count may be lowered by certain medications used by people with HIV, such as Retrovir (AZT) and Cytovene (ganciclovir). If the neutrophil count becomes too low, there is an increased risk of bacterial infections.

Difference between Neutrophils % and Absolute Neutrophils Count
Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC), the number of neutrophils in a milliliter of blood, having a reference value of approximately 1500-7700 per µL. The ANC is a measure of a person's immune status. Generally, if the count is above 1000, the person may safely mingle with other people or undergo chemotherapy, but a count below 500 indicates that a person is at high risk for infection and should be kept away from those with infectious disorders. Neutropenia by definition is an ANC below 1800/mm3. It is calculated by adding the number of segmented neutrophils and the number of basal neutrophils and multiplying the sum by the total white blood cell (WBC) count. The formula is ANC = Total WBC count × (% neutrophils + % bands)/100.
More important than the percentage of neutrophils is the absolute neutrophil count (ANC), which should fall between 1.0 to 8.0 k/ul. The reason the ANC represents the true clinical picture better than the percentage of neutrophils is that, in cases where blood counts are suppressed by therapy, the percentage of neutrophils will be higher when the overall counts are low. One may calculate the ANC by multiplying the percentage of neutrophils (in decimal form) plus the percentage of bands (in decimal form) by the total number of white blood cells. The number of bands is usually quite low or even zero, so one may also obtain a fairly accurate ANC by leaving the percent of bands out of the equation.

All information on this page is intended for your general knowledge only and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.