Clinical presentation and management of drug-induced agranulocytosis.
OBJECTIVE: In this article, we report and discuss the clinical presentation and management of idiosyncratic drug-induced agranulocytosis (neutrophil count <0.5 x 10(9)/l). RESULTS/CONCLUSIONS: Idiosyncratic drug-induced agranulocytosis remains a potentially serious adverse event owing to the frequency of severe sepsis with severe deep tissue infections (e.g., pneumonia), septicemia and septic shock in approximately two-thirds of all hospitalized patients. However, several prognostic factors have recently been identified that may be helpful in practice to identify 'susceptible' patients. Old age (>65 years), septicemia or shock, metabolic disorders such as renal failure and a neutrophil count below 0.1 x 10(9)/l are currently consensually accepted as poor prognostic factors. In this potentially life-threatening disorder, modern management with broad-spectrum antibiotics and hematopoietic growth factors (particularly granulocyte colony-stimulating factor) is likely to improve prognosis. Thus, with appropriate management, the mortality rate from idiosyncratic drug-induced agranulocytosis is currently approximately 5%.