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Viral Hepatitis and Liver Disease

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Neutrophils: Associated Laboratory Test for Hepatitis C

for Veterans and the Public

Neutrophils - Hepatitis C for Patients

Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell. Your neutrophil level is also known as the absolute neutrophil count (ANC).

Explanation of test results:

Neutrophils play a key role in inflammation, formation of pus, and destruction of bacteria. Your doctor will check your ANC regularly if you are taking interferon treatment. If the ANC falls too low, your doctor may reduce the dosage of interferon treatment. Additionally, if the ANC falls too low, your doctor may prescribe additional medication to try to boost the ANC back up.

Other things to know:

  • The ANC is more important than the total WBC count in terms of determining interferon dosages.
  • Even if the ANC falls during interferon treatment, it will return to its normal level once treatment is stopped.
  • Your total WBC count includes neutrophils plus the 4 other types of WBCs (eosinophils, basophils, monocytes, and lymphocytes).
  • Laboratories will report both the total WBC count and the ANC.