Generally the lower limit of normal for platelets is 150 000, with thrombocytopenia often defined as <50 000.
Low platelets increase the risk of bleeding/bruising, commonly manifesting as bleeding gums or nose bleeds.
Causes of thrombocytopenia can be broadly divided into causes that increase platelet destruction and causes that decrease production:
- increased platelet destruction (= DISC HH)
- Hypersplenism (portal hypertension, leukaemia)
- aplastic anaemia
- B12/folate deficiency
- marrow infiltration
Treatment is dependent on the cause/the symptoms.
Onwards to the last haematological battle of the day, ITP...