Marginal neutrophil pool size in normal subjects and neutropenic patients as measured by epinephrine infusion

J Lab Clin Med. 1976 Oct;88(4):614-20.


The marginal granulocyte pool (MGP) was measured by epinephrine infusion in normal and neutropenic subjects. Neutrophil response curves to doses of 0.025 to 0.3 mg. in three normal subjects indicated that maximal neutrophil response was achieved by 0.1 mg. In 21 normal subjects, absolute neutrophils increased from 700 to 3,100 per microliter. The percentage increase ranged from 18 to 107 per cent of baseline. The per cent increase tended to be greater with low-normal baseline neutrophils than with high-normal neutrophils, although this relationship was not observed when increase was determined in absolute values. In neutropenic patients mean per cent increase of neutrophils was greater than observed in normal subjects, 121 vs. 50 per cent. Although the increase expressed in absolute neutrophil numbers was less in subjects with lower baseline neutrophil concentrations, there was an inverse correlation between the baseline neutrophil concentrations, there was an inverse correlation between the baseline neutrophils and the per cent increment following epinephrine. Mean increase was 200 per cent in patients with less than 200 neutrophils per microliter, compared with 61 per cent in patients with 1,000 to 1,500 neutrophils per microliter. These results indicate that circulating granulocyte pool (CGP) size may be misleading with respect to total blood neutrophils and in a sense confirm the concept of shift neutropenia, a decreased CGP and MGP as neutropenia becomes more profound suggests that shift neutropenia may be a normal physiologic methanism rather than a distinct neutropenic syndrome.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Agranulocytosis / blood*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Epinephrine*
  • Female
  • Granulocytes
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Neutropenia / blood*
  • Neutrophils*


  • Epinephrine