What Are Common Platelet Disorders?

Medically Reviewed on 11/29/2022
Common Platelet Disorders
Platelets aid in wound healing and stick together to form blood clots to stop bleeding.

Platelets or thrombocytes are blood cells that are formed in the bone marrow. These cells help form blood clots and stop bleeding.

When you have an injury, platelets help your blood clot. In blood vessels, platelets stick together at breaks to plug leaks. The normal platelet count ranges from 150,000 to 400,000 per microliter of blood. The major function of platelets includes hemostasis, thrombosis, and wound healing.

The common platelet disorders include:

What is thrombocythemia?

Thrombocythemia is a blood disorder that produces excessive platelets. Increased platelet count results in too much clotting or not enough clotting in the blood vessel. This results in severe complications. The abnormal stem cells may also result in either excess or low production of platelets.

Lower platelet count may result in bleeding, and excess production may result in abnormal blood clots.

Symptoms of thrombocythemia

How to diagnose thrombocythemia

What is thrombocytopenia?

Thrombocytopenia is a condition in which the bone marrow does not produce enough platelets. Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) can lead to excessive bruising and bleeding, which may become hard to stop. It is caused when the immune system attacks its platelets and destroys them or by a bone marrow disorder such as leukemia that produces a lower number of platelets. The condition is triggered by certain medications. It is seen in both adults and children.

Symptoms of thrombocytopenia

The symptoms of thrombocytopenia are due to a decreased platelet count, which is mostly related to increased bleeding, and may include:

  • A bruise under the skin changes the skin color
  • Superficial bleeding in the skin
  • Continuous bleeding for a longer time than usual
  • Nose and gum bleeding
  • Severe menstrual bleeding
  • Blood in vomit, urine, and stools
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Rectal bleeding

3 types of thrombocytopenia

The normal platelet count ranges from 150,000 to 400,000 per microliter of blood.

  1. Mild thrombocytopenia: Platelet count ranges from 101,000 to 140,000 per microliter of blood
  2. Moderate thrombocytopenia: Platelet count ranges from 51,000 to 100,000 per microliter of blood
  3. Severe thrombocytopenia: Platelet count ranges between 51,000 and 21,000 per microliter of blood

Causes of thrombocytopenia

  • Bone marrow disorders such as leukemia and lymphoma in which the bone marrow does not produce enough platelets.
  • Bone marrow produces normal platelet count, but the produced platelets are destroyed due to autoimmune disorders.
  • Low platelet count may be due to the spleen, which stores more platelets and cannot circulate in the bloodstream.

How to diagnose thrombocytopenia

  • Complete blood count tests help know the number of platelets and confirm the diagnosis
  • Peripheral smear test
  • Blood clotting test
  • Bone marrow biopsy

Treatment of thrombocytopenia

The treatment of thrombocytopenia includes:

  • Steroids: Reduce platelet destruction, prevent bleeding, and may increase the number of platelets in two to three weeks. However, you may face a few side effects such as irritability, stomach irritation, increased blood pressure, acne, and weight gain.
  • Platelet transfusion: In people with severe bleeding, platelet transfusion may be necessary. Transfusion may boost the platelet count.
  • Splenectomy: Sometimes, a splenectomy is required to decrease platelet reduction. The splenectomy is commonly recommended to reduce the risk of platelet destruction.


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Platelet dysfunction disorders

Platelet dysfunction disorder is a condition in which a platelet does not form a strong blood clot. Platelet dysfunction disorders are developed or inherited. They may be developed by taking medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin that affect platelet function. People with liver or kidney problems may also develop platelet function disorder.

Symptoms of platelet dysfunction

Symptoms include:

  • Continuous bleeding for a longer time
  • Nose and gum bleeding
  • Severe menstrual bleeding
  • Blood in vomit, urine, and stools
  • Rectal bleeding

What are the specific factors that affect platelet supply?

Medically Reviewed on 11/29/2022
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