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June 1969

How Many "Polys" Are Enough?

Arch Intern Med. 1969;123(6):722-723. doi:10.1001/archinte.1969.00300160112019

In a recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Kyle and Linman published a report of 15 cases of chronic idiopathic neutropenia.1 In their group of patients, observed from 1 to 19 years, there had been no increase in the frequency of infections. On two reported occasions a granulocyte count was recorded as zero, and during the many years "the observed absolute neutrophil counts in these patients rarely exceeded 1,000. In fact, the last available neutrophil value was below that level in all 15 patients and was 500 or less in 12 of them."

By contrast, in this issue of the Archives (p 694) is a report by Lipton of three patients with chronic idiopathic neutropenia, all of whom, after a hectic course and a final treatment with corticosteroids, died of the infections which uniformly attend the absence of granulocytes or, as Lipton puts it, absolute neutropenia.

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