The platelet count is useful for the diagnosis of thrombocytopenia (decrease in platelet count) and thrombocytosis (increase in platelet count), to provide information on platelet production, and to monitor pharmaceutical and radiation anticancer therapy, in the production of platelets.
Platelets or thrombocytes are megakaryocyte fragments and are formed in the bone marrow. They circulate in the blood with a life of 8 to 12 days and are then removed from the bloodstream by the spleen. Platelets are essential for hemostasis and the formation of blood clots. When the blood vessel wall is injured, the platelets attach to the wall and accumulate, forming a platelet clot.
Patients with a platelet count between 50.000 and 150.000 / µl usually present with few to no bleeding signs. Automatic bleeding and prolonged bleeding after surgery or trauma may occur in patients with platelet counts ranging from 20.000 to 50.000 / μl. Patients with a platelet count of less than 20.000 / µl are at greater risk. In these patients, automatic bleeding can occur with very serious consequences.
Platelet count is part of the Complete Blood Count
What Do Pathological Values Mean?
- Increase: After splenectomy, anemia (hemolytic, iron deficiency, sickle cell), asphyxia, absence of the spleen, cancer, cirrhosis, collagen disease, cryoglobulinemia, exercise, fractures, cardiac disease, hemorrhage (acute), idiopathic thrombocythemia, infection (acute), inflammation, leukemia (chronic granulocytic, chronic myelogenous), malignancy, multiple myeloma, myelofibrosis, myeloproliferative disease, pancreatitis (chronic), polycythemia vera, postoperative, postnatal, pregnancy (more in twin pregnancies), pseudothrombocytosis, reticulocytosis, rheumatoid arthritis, surgery, tuberculosis. Medications: epinephrine (adrenaline), oral contraceptives, cephalosporins, clindamycin, clozapine, corticosteroids, dipyridamole, donepezil, epoetin, lithium, zidovudine.
- Decrease: After splenectomy (2 months), anemia (aplastic, megaloblastic, malignant), bone marrow aplasia or hypoplasia, autoimmune disorders, Bernard-Soulier syndrome, blood transfusions (incompatible, multiple transfusions), burns (severe), carcinomas (metastatic), cirrhosis, clostridial infection, collagen disease, diphtheria, disseminated intravascular coagulation, extracorporeal circulation, Gaucher disease, bleeding, neonatal hemolytic disease, heparin therapy, histoplasmosis, hypersplenism, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, lymphoproliferative diseases, infections (acute), radiation, leukemia (acute granulocytic, acute lymphocytic, monocytic), malaria, May-Hegglin anomaly, megakaryocytic hypoplasia, menstruation, multiple myeloma, myelofibrosis, regular platelet donors, sepsis, typhoid fever, uremia, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome. Medications: acetazolamide, acetohexamide, amidopyrine, aminosalicylic acid, amphotericin B, ampicillin, antimony, antineoplastic, arsenic, aspirin, barbiturates, brompheniramine, carbamazepine, chloramphenicol, chlorpropamide, chloroquine, chlorothiazide, colchicine, diazoxide, digitoxin, ethacrynic acid, ethoxzolamide, furosemide, colloidal gold, hydroxychloroquine, indomethacin, isoniazid, mefenamic acid, methazolamide, methimazole, methyldopa, oral hypoglycaemic agents, oxyphenbutazone, oxytetracycline, penicillamine, penicillin, phenylbutazone, phenytoin, pyrimethamine, quinidine, quinine sulfate, rifampicin, salicylates, streptomycin, sulphonamides, thiazides, tolbutamide, tricyclic antidepressants, vaccines.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.