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    Chief Complaint


    Organ System


    Patent Pending

    Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC)

    Frequently used to assess neutropenic fever in chemotherapy patients.
    When to Use
    Why Use

    The ANC can be critical in assessing an immunocompromised patient’s risk for developing opportunistic infections. It is commonly used in the hospital setting, clinic, and emergency department. If a patient undergoing active myelosuppressive chemotherapy presents with a sustained fever (with or without localizing symptoms), there is a risk of progression to sepsis. Thus, it is imperative to calculate the ANC to assist in determining if empiric antibiotics should be initiated.

    • The ANC calculation is not a static measurement done only once upon hospital admission. Rather, it is often measured daily in critically ill patients to assess the bone marrow’s response after chemotherapy, for example.
    • Recall that the ANC is dynamic - it is an absolute value and is expected to drop during the patient’s nadir after chemotherapy.

    The calculation can be completed with a routine complete blood count and differential. It is a tool to provide a rapid risk stratification. No additional laboratory work is needed to complete the calculation.

    × 10³ cells/µL


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    Creator Insights
    Dr. Layla A. Al-Gwaiz

    About the Creator

    Layla A. Al-Gwaiz, MD, FCAP is a practicing physician and researcher in Hematology Section of the Department of Pathology at King Khalid University Hospital in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    To view Dr. Layla A. Al-Gwaiz's publications, visit PubMed

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