Abstract

We applied a radiolabeled antiglobulin test to a study of patients with a variety of neutropenic disorders. After defining the nature of the interaction of radiolabeled anti-IgG with the neutrophil, we studied 16 patients with neutropenia of uncertain etiology and adequate bone marrow granulocyte precursors. Twelve of these 16 patients had increased neutrophil-associated IgG (PMN-IgG). Patients with the highest levels of PMN-IgG had the lowest neutrophil counts. The majority of patients with neutropenia and increased PMN-IgG had an underlying immunologic disorder that included immune thrombocytopenic purpura in 5 patients and autoimmune hemolytic anemia in 1 patient. In some patients, elevated PMN-IgG preceded other evidence for immunologic disease. The direct antiglobulin test helped to distinguish neutropenic patients with increased PMN-IgG both from patients with neutropenia due to a known nonimmune disorder and from nonneutropenic patients with rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosis. Each of four patients with increased neutrophil-associated IgG treated with systemic corticosteroids responded clinically with an associated fall in neutrophil IgG and a rise in the circulating neutrophil count. The radiolabeled antiglobulin test appears useful in defining a subpopulation of patients with neutropenia due to an underlying immunologic disorder.

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