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Absolute Neutrophil Count
What is Absolute Neutrophil Count?
Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) is a measurement of the number of white blood cells (WBCs) in the blood. WBCs are the backbone of our immune system. Neutrophils are a type of WBCs and help destroy any bacteria and viruses that enter our bodies. It level is increased in infections, a variety of inflammatory disorders and some myeloid neoplasms. Neutropenia (lower neutrophil count) can be seen with various medications, including chemotherapy, toxins, bone marrow replacement (for example, metastatic tumor, granulomas), myelodysplastic syndromes, autoimmune disorders, and congenital disorders. Generally, the degree of neutropenia defines the patient’s risk of infections.
Why is ANC done?
- If you have symptoms like fever, chills, body aches, infection, headache pointing to an acute infection
- ANC is usually ordered as a part of a complete blood count (CBC), which is a routine test
- If symptoms related to blood disorder, bone marrow disorder or autoimmune disease are present
What does ANC Measure?
It gives us a measure of one of the components of the white blood cells , called Neutrophils. While all white blood cells help your body fight infections, neutrophils are important for fighting against bacterial infection.
Interpreting ANC results
High ANC indicates Neutrophilia- which means increased levels of Neutrophils in the blood. High levels of neutrophils and fever are seen when you have an infection.
Low ANC indicates Neutropenia- which means a low count of neutrophils. It can make you more vulnerable to infections & in severe cases, even infection with normal body flora.
Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about ANC
Frequently Asked Questions about Absolute Neutrophil Count
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