|Neutrophils with a segmented nuclei surrounded by erythrocytes, the intra-cellular granules are visible in the cytoplasm (Giemsa stained)|
Neutrophilia (also called neutrophil leukocytosis or occasionally neutrocytosis) is leukocytosis of neutrophils, that is, a high number of neutrophils in the blood. Because neutrophils are the main type of granulocytes, mentions of granulocytosis often overlap in meaning with neutrophilia.
The opposite of neutrophilia is neutropenia.
A neutrophilia might also be the result of a malignancy. Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML or chronic myeloid leukaemia) is a disease where the blood cells proliferate out of control. These cells may be neutrophils. Neutrophilia can also be caused by appendicitis and splenectomy.
A "left shift" refers to the presence of increased proportions of younger, less well differentiated neutrophils and neutrophil-precursor cells in the blood. This generally reflects early or premature release of myeloid cells from the bone marrow, the site where neutrophils are generated. A severe neutrophilia with left shift is referred to as a leukemoid reaction. The leukocyte alkaline phosphatase (LAP) score, which refers to the amount of alkaline phosphatase per neutrophil, will increase. In a severe infection, toxic granulation changes happen to the neutrophils.