Overview- Absolute Neutrophil Count or (ANC) Count for neutrophil cells is the determining factor for the treatment of various diseases as it helps to ascertain the immunity levels in a person’s body. This count is a crucial consideration for serious treatment procedures such as transplants and radiation therapies.
To define the Absolute Neutrophil Count or ANC, it is important to know that neutrophils are the white blood cells that help in the digestion of micro-organisms such as bacteria that enter the body. Therefore, these cells are imperative for the well-being of the immune system of the human body. The ANC Count or the Absolute Count of neutrophils is the amount of WBCs that are present in the blood.
In a normal human body, this count is 1500 cells per microliter (cpm) of blood. In case this count is low, i.e. in the range between 500-1000, the person is termed as neutropenic. Such a person is considered prone to infections as there is a lack of infection fighting cells in the body. In cases where this count is lower than 500, the person is termed to be suffering from Severe Chronic Neutropenia. Such a person is counted to be highly vulnerable to serious infections and diseases such as febrile neutropenia or neutropenic fever. Such people are also required to take several precautions against infections by monitoring the cleanliness of their surroundings and their bodies.
- ANC Count Calculation: The neutrophil count in the body is determined by calculating the combined percentage of the developed and the young neutrophils cells. The formula for determining count is [(%neutrophil/100+%bands/100)x(WBC/1000)] = [(%neutrophil+%bands)x(WBC/100,000)]
- The unit of ANC measurement: The count of neutrophils in the body is measured in micro-liters which equals a cubic millimeter.
- The important ANC counts and their implications: The normal count for ANC is between 1500 to 1800 cells per cubic millimeter of blood. The situation where the count is lower than 1500 cells per cubic millimeter and is above 1000 cells per cubic millimeter is termed as Mild Neutropenia. In cases where the count is above 500 cells per cubic millimeter and below 1000 cells per cubic millimeter, the situation is termed as moderate neutropenia. When this count drops below 500 cells per cubic millimeter, the case is termed as severe neutropenia and this is the time when the person concerned deserves intense care and medical attention. The cases of moderate and mild neutropenia are susceptible to infections, but are still not much in danger; and this is a situation which can be handled easily with medication and care.
- Causes for high ANC: Some of the possible reasons for ANC can be stress, infections, physical over exertion, use of corticosteroids or lithium carbonate, as well as nervousness and anxiety.
- The importance of ANC: It is important to be aware of one’s Absolute Neutrophil Count as it determines the intensity to which one is susceptible to infections. This count is mostly calculated for people who are to undergo treatment for cancer or have disorders such as Neupogen, Granocyte or Neulasta. This count is also essential in cases where a person is to undergo radiation therapy of any kind, chemotherapy, bone marrow or stem cell transplant so that the health of one’s immune system can be ensured before taking the treatment process further.