Pathology Handbook

Granulocyte antibodies


White cell antibodies

Clinical Indications

To determine granulocyte antibody significance in patients with severe neutropenia (cause unknown )

Request Form 

NBS request form (3E) completed in conjunction with the laboratory following discussion with Consultant Haematologist


Analysed by Reference Laboratory (NBS) if specific criteria met. (NBS Bristol)

Specific Criteria

Requested by Consultant or agreed with Consultant Haematologists

Turnaround Time

Usually within two months


Whole Blood


As requested by NBS specific to specialist investigation required. Requestor will be advised on a case by case basis




Samples should be transported to laboratory immediately

Causes for Rejection

Unlabelled /unsigned sample. Incorrect or inadequate patient identifiers provided. Insufficient sample volume. Poor sample quality due to deterioration, haemolysis, presence of clot


Testing for Granulocyte antibodies will only be undertaken if the condition falls into the following categories.

  • Autoimmune neutropenia, caused by rare granulocyte autoantibodies. The condition in children between 6 months and 5 years, known as autoimmune neutropenia of infancy, is self limiting but may last several years. In adults, the condition may present as an isolated primary disorder or be secondary to other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or SLE.
  • Neonatal neutropenia, caused by maternal antibodies present on granulocytes at birth, leading to the risk of infectious complications.
  • Severe non haemolytic transfusion reactions.
  • Transfusion related acute lung injury (TRALI)
  • Neutropenia following bone marrow transplant.
  • Drug induced antibody neutropenia. This test must be accompanied by a sample of the drug involved