- Platelet Level Count Chart
- Essential Thrombocythemia
- Reactive Thrombocytosis
Platelets or thrombocytes are blood cells that are formed in the bone marrow. These cells help form blood clots and stop bleeding. The normal platelet count ranges from 150,000 to 450,000 per microliter of blood.
Major functions of platelets include:
- Wound healing
What are the specific factors that affect platelet count?
- Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
- Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
- Bacterial and viral infections
- Blood cancer, such as leukemia and lymphoma
- Cancer treatments
- Alcohol use disorder
- Few medications are used to treat bacterial infections, seizures, and heart conditions
Thrombocytosis is a condition in which there is an elevated platelet count. The two main types of thrombocytosis include:
- Essential thrombocythemia
- Reactive thrombocytosis
|High platelet count||More than 450,000 per microliter of blood|
|Normal platelet count||150,000 to 450,000 per microliter of blood|
|Low platelet counts||Less than 150,000 per microliter of blood|
What is essential thrombocythemia?
Essential thrombocythemia is a rare blood disorder that produces excessive platelets. Increased platelet count results in thrombus formation in the blood vessel, which causes severe complications, such as stroke and pulmonary embolism.
People with essential thrombocythemia have normal life expectancy if monitored and treated properly. Essential thrombocythemia is the most common form of myeloproliferative disorder.
- Essential thrombocythemia occurs mostly in people older than 60 years.
- Women who have given birth to female children are at a higher risk than those who have given birth to male children.
Myeloproliferative disorders are rare blood cancers that are caused by mutations in stem cells in the bone marrow. The mutations cause excess production of any combination of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.
Causes of essential thrombocythemia
Essential thrombocythemia is caused by the genetic mutation in Janus kinase 2. The other gene mutations that result in essential thrombocythemia are CALR and MPL genes.
This gene mutation results in the overproduction of red blood cells and increases the viscosity of the blood. The thickened blood may result in decreased blood flow, thus preventing the required amount of oxygen from reaching the organs. The overproduction of cells may also result in abnormal blood clots.
What is reactive thrombocytosis?
Reactive thrombocytosis is also known as secondary thrombocytosis. In this condition, the increased platelet count is due to a response to some factors, such as injury, infection, any surgical procedure, and the absence of the spleen. The body reacts to these underlying factors, which results in elevated platelet count. Usually, reactive thrombocytosis is temporary.
Causes of reactive thrombocytosis
Various factors result in reactive thrombocytosis. A few causes of reactive thrombocytosis include:
What are the symptoms of increased platelet count?
The following are the symptoms of an increased platelet count:
- Formation of blood clots in the arteries and veins, especially in the hands, feet, and brain
- Bruising easily
- Bleeding nose
- Bleeding gums
- Severe bleeding, even for a minor injury
- Swollen lymph nodes
Severe complications include:
- Excess bleeding
- Formation of unusual blood clots in the abdomen, called Budd–Chari syndrome, which increases the risk of stroke and heart attacks
Few people with thrombocythemia may also develop erythromelalgia, a condition that results in pain, swelling, redness, tingling, and numbness in the hands and feet.
How to detect increased platelet count
The following tests help identify the increased platelet count and determine the causes of increased platelet count:
How to treat increased platelet count
If thrombocytosis does not cause any symptoms, no treatment is required; however, the individual may require routine checkups.
If required, your healthcare provider may advise a few treatment options, such as:
- Taking daily low-dose aspirin to prevent blood clots
- Taking medicines that suppress the platelet production in bone marrow, such as hydroxyurea and anagrelide
Sometimes, splenectomy is required to reduce the platelet reduction. It is commonly recommended to reduce the risk of platelet destruction.
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Thrombocytopenia (Low Platelet Count)
Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) refers to a decreased number of platelets in the blood. Symptoms of thrombocytopenia include:
- Increased bruising
- Spontaneous bleeding
- Small, purple spots under the skin called purpura
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