July 29, 2016
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Thrombocytopenia (Low Platelet Count) (cont.)

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Splenic sequestration

Splenic sequestration can also lead to low platelet counts as a result of enlargement or change in function of the spleen for a variety of reasons. When the spleen enlarges, it can retain (sequester) more than the usual amount of platelets. Common causes of thrombocytopenia due to splenic enlargement may include advanced liver disease with portal hypertension (cirrhosis, for example, from chronic hepatitis B or C) and blood cancers (leukemias or lymphomas).

  • Dilutional thrombocytopenia can result from severe bleeding and transfusion of several units transfused red blood cells in a short time.
  • Pseudothrombocytopenia (false thrombocytopenia) is a commonly encountered condition where the number of platelets seen on a complete blood count analysis (CBC) may falsely appear low because of the clumping of platelets together. This can lead to an artificially reduced automated count. If this is suspected, the blood can be redrawn in a tube with a material that prevents clumping of platelets for repeat analysis. A peripheral smear review will identify platelet clumping.
  • Thrombocytopenia can also be present at birth, called neonatal thrombocytopenia. Most of these cases can be caused by processes similar to above, although, they are occasionally related to rare genetic conditions.

When should I seek medical care for thrombocytopenia?

If thrombocytopenia is detected on a routine blood work, it is generally addressed and investigated by the physician who orders the test. In people with known thrombocytopenia, follow-up care is decided based on the diagnosis and the severity. However, if a person has one or more of the above listed symptoms, they should seek a health-care professional as thrombocytopenia may quickly worsen and become serious in some individuals.

People with thrombocytopenia are, in general, initially cared for by an internist or a family practice physician. Sometimes, consultation with a doctor who specializes in blood disorders (hematologist) is helpful for more thorough investigation or treatment, but others may require additional help.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/1/2016

Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/thrombocytopenia_low_platelet_count/article.htm

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