Acute neuroleptic induced leukopenia in Ethiopian jews with benign familial leukopenia

Daniel Levy, Robert Kimhi, Yoram Barak, Alex Aviv, Orit Pinhas-Hamiel, Avner Elizur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Benign familial leukopenia (BFL) has been described in various ethnic groups around the world; in Israel it is found among Yemenites and Ethiopians. Neuroleptics infrequently cause acute leukopenia. We described nine Ethiopian subjects who were treated with conventional antipsychotics for four weeks. In three subjects probable BFL was demonstrated prior to treatment. By the end of four weeks of treatment 6/9 subjects developed leukopenia with neutropenia. Reduction in mean WBC counts and neutrophil counts was significant (p = 0.014 and p =0.001, respectively). None of the subjects developed an acute illness or an infection during the studied period. We tentatively suggest that in subjects belonging to ethnic groups where BFL is common antipsychotics may induce its expression without significant clinical symptomatology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-30
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997


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