What is an ANC also called AGC

The activities of families of children with leukemia revolve around the sick child's white blood cell count, specifically the absolute neutrophil count (ANC). This is sometimes called an absolute granulocyte count (AGC). The ANC (or AGC) provides an indication of the child's ability to fight infection.

When a child has blood drawn for a complete blood count (CBC), one section of the lab report will state the total white blood cell (WBC) count and a "differential." This means that each type of white blood cell will be listed as a percentage of the total. For example, if the total WBC count is 1500 mm3, the differential might appear as in the following table:

White Blood Cell Type

Percentage of Total WBC

Segmented neutrophils (also called polys or segs)


Band neutrophils (also called bands)


Basophils (also called basos)


Eosinophils (also called eos)


Lymphocytes (also called lymphs)


Monocytes (also called monos)


To calculate the ANC, add the percentages of neutrophils and bands, and multiply by the total WBC. Using the example above, the ANC is 49% + 1% = 50%. 50% of 1,500 (.50 X 1500) = 750. The ANC is 750.

Erica ran a fever whenever her counts were low, but nothing ever grew in her cultures. They would hospitalize her for 48 hours as a precaution. She was never on a full dose of medicine because of her chronically low counts. She's two years off treatment now and doing great.

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