Absolute Neutrophil Blood Test

An absolute neutrophil count (ANC) blood test measures the number of neutrophils in a person’s blood. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell that help the body fight infections by attacking bacteria and other foreign substances. The ANC test is often used to monitor the immune system during chemotherapy or other medical treatments that can lower a person’s white blood cell count.

The ANC is calculated by multiplying the total white blood cell count by the percentage of neutrophils in the blood. The normal range for the ANC varies depending on the laboratory, but generally falls between 1,500 and 8,000 cells per microliter of blood (cells/mcL).

Low ANC levels, also known as neutropenia, can increase the risk of infections and make it more difficult for the body to fight off infections. Causes of neutropenia can include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, certain medications, and certain medical conditions such as aplastic anemia or autoimmune disorders. Treatment for neutropenia may involve addressing the underlying cause and, in some cases, taking medications to stimulate white blood cell production.

High ANC levels, also known as neutrophilia, can indicate the presence of an infection or inflammation in the body. Causes of neutrophilia can include bacterial infections, certain types of leukemia, and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Treatment for neutrophilia may involve addressing the underlying cause of the elevated ANC levels.

This page is provided for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute the provision of medical advice or professional services. The information provided should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, and those seeking personal medical advice regarding any of the tests and conditions referenced above are advised to consult with a licensed clinician. Always seek the advice of your qualified health provider regarding a medical condition and do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information on this page. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or go to the nearest urgent care center or hospital.


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