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J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2012 Oct;34(7):497-9.

Neonatal alloimmune neutropenia: still a diagnostic and therapeutical challenge.

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  • 1Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Hospital São João, EPE, Alameda Prof. Hernâni Monteiro, Porto, Portugal.



To describe a case of neonatal alloimmune neutropenia (NAN), a very rare disease of the newborn and the first ever reported in our neonatal intensive care unit, with emphasis in its management and outcome.


We report a case of NAN due to anti-human neutrophil antigen-1b alloimmunization in a 29-week preterm admitted to our neonatal intensive care unit. In this case, the neutropenia was severe and persisted for almost 2 months. There was a good response to the administration of intravenous immunoglobulin.


NAN is caused by maternal production of neutrophil-specific alloantibodies in response to antigens from paternal heritage present on the newborn neutrophiles. The course of the disease is usually mild and self-limiting. The optimal therapy is yet a debate, with some authors finding the use of intravenous immunoglobulin effective, prophylactic antibiotic therapy or recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor.

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