Abstract

A patient with multiple myeloma developed periodic blood neutropenia (periodicity of 15–25 days) after 3 yr of intermittent treatment with cytotoxic agents. Peaks of serum colony-stimulating activity (CSA) level coincided with valleys of blood neutrophils. Fraction of marrow neutrophils in the multiplicative pool was high during blood neutrophil valleys and low during neutrophil peaks. In contrast, the maturation storage pool exhibited the reverse pattern. An increased fraction of marrow neutrophilic cells in the multiplicative pool was in active proliferation during a blood neutrophil valley and a decreased fraction during a blood neutrophil peak. These findings suggest that the marrow granulopoiesis was regulated through CSA. The defect causing the periodicity was probably related to the reduced number of neutrophils in the marrow maturation storage pool, which in turn may be related to a reduced and/or defective granulocytic stem cell pool size consequent to the long-term administration of cytotoxic drugs and/or infiltration of the marrow by myeloma cells.

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