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A reduction in the leukocyte count to values below the normal limit. Also known as leukocytopenia.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



leukocytopenia, a decrease in the absolute number of leukocytes in the peripheral blood.

Leukopenia is usually caused by a redistribution of blood that occurs with certain physiological conditions, such as with increased tonus in the vagus nerve, with diminished function in the adrenal cortex and in the sympathetic nervous system, after a hot bath, and with starvation. Cases are known of familial, “constitutional” leukopenia. Leukopenia may develop after infection or repeated blood transfusion (autoimmune and isoimmune leukopenias) or after taking certain drugs (sulfanilamides, Amidopyrine). It may have diagnostic significance with influenza, kala-azar, typhoid fever, brucellosis, malaria, and certain other diseases. Severe leukopenia develops in the presence of fatty degeneration of the bone marrow, an aplasia that arises as an independent disease (aplastic anemia), or as a result of severe intoxication (benzene, some drugs) or ionizing radiation.


Istamanova, T. S., and V. A. Almazov. Leikopenii i agranulotsitozy. Leningrad, 1961.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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