Symptom: Low white blood cell count

    A low white blood cell count, or leukopenia, is a decrease in disease-fighting cells (leukocytes) circulating in your blood.

    The threshold for a low white blood cell count varies from one medical practice to another. Some healthy people have white cell counts that are lower than what's considered normal. A count lower than 4,000 white blood cells per microliter of blood is generally considered a low white blood cell count. The threshold for a low white blood cell count in children varies with age and sex.

    Low white blood cell count

    Specific causes of low white blood cell count include:

    1. Aplastic anemia
    2. Certain medications, such as antibiotics and diuretics
    3. Chemotherapy
    4. HIV/AIDS
    5. Hypersplenism, a premature destruction of blood cells by the spleen
    6. Infectious diseases
    7. Kostmann's syndrome, a congenital disorder involving low neutrophil production
    8. Leukemia
    9. Lupus
    10. Malnutrition
    11. Myelodysplastic syndromes
    12. Myelokathexis, a congenital disorder involving failure of neutrophils to enter the bloodstream
    13. Other autoimmune disorders
    14. Other congenital disorders
    15. Parasitic diseases
    16. Radiation therapy
    17. Vitamin deficiencies

    Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.


    Because a chronic very low white blood cell count makes you vulnerable to infections, discuss precautions with your doctor to avoid catching contagious diseases. Always wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. You may also be told to wear a face mask and avoid anyone with a cold or other illness.


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