INTRODUCTION: Smoking is a major risk factor for a variety of diseases. Electronic cigarettes are battery-operated devices that deliver nicotine to the lungs by evaporation of a liquid. Chronic idiopathic neutrophilia is a condition characterized by elevated white blood cell and neutrophil counts without any underlying disease; smoking has been implicated as a potential cause.
CASE PRESENTATION: A male Caucasian patient, born in 1977, presented in September 2005 with asymptomatic elevation of white blood cell and neutrophil count, and mildly-elevated C-reactive protein levels. He was a smoker since 1996 and was treated with 20 mg/day of simvastatin since 2003 due to hyperlipidemia. Clinical examination, and laboratory and imaging investigations ruled out any infectious, haematological, rheumatological, or endocrine conditions. He was followed-up regularly and was advised to stop smoking. He had 2 unsuccessful attempts to quit smoking; one was unassisted and the second was performed with the use of both varenicline and nicotine replacement therapy (patches). During the subsequent 6.5 years, his leukocyte and C-reactive protein levels were repeatedly elevated; the condition was consistent with chronic idiopathic neutrophilia. In February 2012, he started using electronic cigarettes and he managed to quit smoking within 10 days. After 6 months, laboratory examination showed normalized leukocyte count and C-reactive protein levels, confirmed immediately by a second laboratory and by repeated tests after 1 and 2 months.
CONCLUSION: Smoking cessation with the use of electronic cigarette led to reversal of chronic idiopathic neutrophilia. The daily use of electronic cigarette may help preserve the beneficial effects of smoking cessation.
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