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Neutropenia and Hep C?
May 21, 2004

I have been diagnosed with netroupenia and HepC. My white blood cell count is approx. 1000. My liver biopsy was grade 2; stage2.

My Hemotologist is recluctant to start interferon treatment because of the low white blood cell count. The liver specialist (Baylor Medical College) wants to begin a year long treatment. So far there has been no determination for the cause of the neutropenia even with many tests including bone marrow biopsy. I am at a loss as to whose advice to follow.

Advice please!

Response from Dr. McGovern

Your hepatologist is concerned that you have enough scarring that he wants you to start treatment for liver disease. Your hematologist is obviously concerned about the level of your white blood cell count which is quite low and will certainly go down lower with interferon.

You may want to have your liver specialist and hematologist speak to one another about supporting your treatment of hepatitis C with colony stimulating growth factors. Growth colony stimulating factors are very effective in increasing white blood cell counts. You might want to talk to your hematologist about trying this first to be certain that you have a good response before going on a pegylated interferon. Dr. McGovern

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