The evaluation and management of leukopenia

Valeria T. Fullwood, Eugene Toy, Benton Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Leukopenia, defined as a white blood cell count of <4,000 cells per microliter, is a common diagnostic and therapeutic dilemma faced by the primary care physician. The history and physical examination usually point to the underlying etiology. Selective laboratory tests and, when indicated, a bone marrow biopsy may aid in the diagnostic process. Although leukopenia is frequently caused by benign and self-limited conditions, some circumstances necessitate aggressive management. One such entity is neutropenia with sepsis, where empiric broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy must be initiated, whereas a simultaneous investigation for the infectious agent is carried out. The acuity, severity, age of the patient, and presence of infection are important factors in the individualized approach to the leukopenic patient. The obstetrician/gynecologist, by following patients over time and being familiar with the effects of chemotherapeutic agents, is well positioned to evaluate and treat leukopenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-231
Number of pages6
JournalPrimary Care Update for Ob/Gyns
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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