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Neutrophil disorders can be grouped into deficiencies, or neutropenia, excesses, or neutrophilia, and qualitative abnormalities. Neutropenia can have the severe consequence of predisposing to infection, whereas neutrophilia usually is a manifestation of an underlying inflammatory or neoplastic disease: the neutrophilia, per se, having no specific consequences. Qualitative disorders of neutrophils may lead to infection as a result of defective cell translocation to an inflammatory site or defective microbial killing. Neutropenia may reflect an inherited disease that is evident in childhood (such as congenital [hereditary] severe neutropenia), but more often it is acquired. A common cause of neutropenia is the adverse effect of a drug. Some cases of neutropenia have no evident cause. The health consequence of neutropenia is a function of the mechanism of the neutropenia, the abruptness and severity of the decrease in the blood neutrophil count, and the duration of the decrease. Neutrophils have also been identified as mediators of vascular or tissue injury. Table 64–1 provides a comprehensive categorization of quantitative and qualitative neutrophil disorders.

Table 64–1.Classification of Neutrophil Disorders

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