Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: -penia

Osteopenia is a condition of low bone mineral density which may lead to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition where loss of bone mass causes a reduction in the bone density. The degeneration, seen from left to right over time, is the loss of height and the backwards curvature (kyphosis) of the spine. Credit: PASIEKA/Getty Images

Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: -penia


The suffix (-penia) means lacking or a deficiency. It is derived from the Greek penía for poverty or need.


Calcipenia (calci-penia) - having an insufficient amount of calcium in the body.

Chloropenia (chloro-penia) - lacking in the level of chloride in the blood.

Cytopenia (cyto-penia) - a deficiency in the production of one or more types of blood cells.

Ductopenia (ducto-penia) - lacking in the number of ducts in an organ.

Enzymopenia (enzymo-penia) - enzyme deficiency.

Eosinopenia (eosino-penia) - having abnormally low numbers of eosinphils in the blood. Eosinophils are white blood cells that become increasingly active during parasitic infections and allergic reactions.

Erythropenia (erythro-penia) - a deficiency in the numbers of erythrocytes (red blood cells) in the blood.

Granulocytopenia (granulo-cyto-penia) - a significant decrease in the numbers of granulocytes in the blood. Granulocytes are white blood cells that include neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils.

Glycopenia (glyco-penia) - a deficiency of sugar in an organ or tissue.

Kaliopenia (kalio-penia) - having an insufficient amount of potassium in the body.

Leukopenia (leuko-penia) - an abnormally low white blood cell count.

Lipopenia (lipo-penia) - a deficiency in the amount of lipids in the body.

Lymphopenia (lympho-penia) - lacking in the number of lymphocytes in the blood.

Monocytopenia (mono-cyto-penia) - an abnormally low monocyte count in the blood. Monocytes are white blood cells that include macrophages and dendritic cells.

Neuroglycopenia (neuro-glyco-penia) - having a deficiency in glucose (sugar) levels in the brain.

Neutropenia (neutro-penia) - having low numbers of infection fighting white blood cells called neutrophils in the blood.

Osteopenia (osteo-penia) - having lower than normal bone mineral density, which may lead to osteoporosis.

Phosphopenia (phospho-penia) - phosphorus deficiency in the body.

Sarcopenia (sarco-penia) - loss of muscle mass associated with the aging process.

Sideropenia (sidero-penia) - having abnormally low iron levels in the blood.

Thrombocytopenia (thrombo-cyto-penia) - an abnormally low platelet count in the blood.

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Bailey, Regina. "Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: -penia." ThoughtCo, Mar. 17, 2016, Bailey, Regina. (2016, March 17). Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: -penia. Retrieved from Bailey, Regina. "Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: -penia." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 24, 2017).