Cyclic Neutropenia | Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of cyclic neutropenia?

Signs of cyclic neutropenia usually appear at birth or shortly after. This condition is characterized by recurrent episodes of neutropenia and last between three to five days. During episodes of neutropenia, it may be more difficult for the body to fight infections. The severity of the resulting infections can vary and are often similar to the severity of the neutropenia itself. 

Symptoms during periods of neutropenia may include:  

  • recurrent fever
  • sore throat (pharyngitis)
  • inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) 
  • inflamed and sore mouth (stomatitis)
  • infections in the skin and in other areas of the body

Cycling frequency appears to lessen with age and may disappear by age 30 in some patients. Children with cyclic neutropenia only have symptoms during neutropenia episodes. At other times, when their neutrophil levels are normal, they are less susceptible to infection. 

What causes cyclic neutropenia?

Cyclic neutropenia is inherited in an autosomal-dominant (non-sex chromosomes) pattern. This means only one copy of the altered gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the condition. In most cases, an affected person inherits the mutation from one affected parent. Other cases result from new mutations in the gene and occur in people with no family history.