absolute neutrophil count
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Related to absolute neutrophil count: neutropenia
absolute neutrophil count (ANC)
the number of neutrophils in a milliliter of blood, having a reference value of approximately 1500-7700 per μL. The ANC is a measure of a person's immune status. Generally, if the count is above 1000, the person may safely mingle with other people or undergo chemotherapy, but a count below 500 indicates that a person is at high risk for infection and should be kept away from those with infectious diseases. Neutropenia by definition is an ANC below 1800/mm3. It is calculated by adding the number of segmented neutrophils and the number of basal neutrophils and multiplying the sum by the total white blood cell (WBC) count. The formula is ANC = Total WBC count × (% neutrophils + % bands)/100. Also called the absolute granulocyte count (AGC).
absolute neutrophil countAbbreviation: ANC
The actual number of neutrophils in a cubic millimeter of blood. The approximate normal range is 3000 to 6000 cells/mm3. This figure is measured before and after drugs are given that may lower neutrophil counts, such as those used in cancer chemotherapy. Generally, chemotherapy is not given unless the patient's ANC is greater than 1000. Patients with an ANC of less than 500 cells/mm3 are at high risk for infection. See: neutrophil
CAUTION!The development of fever in a patient with neutropenia secondary to chemotherapy is an indication for urgent medical evaluation and prompt institution of broad-spectrum antibiotics.
See also: count