ABSOLUTE NEUTROPHIL COUNT AMONG APPARENTLY HEALTHY INDIVIDUALS
Neutrophil is a variety of granulocyte (a type of white blood cell) distinguished by a dense nucleus consisting of between two and five lobes, and a pale cytoplasm with irregular outline containing many fine pink-blue (azurophilic) or grey-blue granules (Hoffbrand, 2006).
Neutrophils form an essential part of the innate immune system which means that they can “non-specifically” destroy any invaders that they encounter in the body such as bacteria and parasites (non-specifically means that neutrophils do not have to recognize the invaders specifically, but simply identify them as something that should not be present in the body and should be destroyed (Suzanne, 2009).
In general they are referred to as either neutrophil granulocytes or polymorphonuclear neutrophil (PMNs), they form part of the polymorphonuclear cell family together with basophils and eosinophils (Witko et al., 2002, Klebanoff et al., 1978, and Nathan, 2006).
Neutrophils undergo a process called chemotaxis which allows them to migrate towards sites of infections. Jitesh proposed that neutrophils are the first to increase in case of infection (Dana, 2011), also the first responders to an invasion, these often takes place within an hour.
Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) is a measure of the number of neutrophil granulocyte (Al-Gwaiz et al., 2007) present in the blood. The result of the test is routinely checked during cancer treatment to determine how the immune system is responding to treatment. The ANC is calculated from the measurement of the total number of white blood cells, usually based on combined percentage of matured neutrophils (Segmented cells) and bands (Immature neutrophils).
Individual is considered to be apparently healthy when the person is perceived or understood (according to appearances) to be free from disease or ailment i.e as far as one knows; that he or she is free health wise. Therefore, the normal range of neutrophil for apparently healthy individual is 1.5-8.0 (i.e 1,500-8,000/mm3). A “safe” ANC is 500 – 1500; a low ANC is less than 500. A safe ANC means that the subject’s activities do not need to be restricted (on the basis of the ANC).