Neutrophil count

Risk of infection

1.0-1.5 x 109/L

No significant increased risk of infection.

0.5-1.0 x 109/L

Some increase in risk; some fevers can be treated as an outpatient.

<0.5 x 109/L

Major increase in risk; treat all fevers with broad spectrum IV antibiotics as an inpatient.

The history and physical examination provide a guide to the subsequent management of a patient with neutropenia. Simple observation is appropriate initially for an asymptomatic patient with isolated mild neutropenia who has an unremarkable history and examination. If there has been a recent viral illness or the patient can discontinue a drug which may be the cause, follow-up over a few weeks may see resolution of the abnormality.

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