Low Platelet Count (Thrombocytopenia)


Mild to serious bleeding causes the main signs and symptoms of thrombocytopenia. External bleeding usually is the first sign of a low platelet count. External bleeding may cause purpura (PURR-purr-ah) or petechiae (peh-TEE-key-ay). Purpura is purple, brown, and red bruises. Petechiae are small red or purple dots on your skin. Abnormal vaginal bleeding (especially heavy menstrual flow), and blood in the urine or stool or bleeding from the rectum are the other symptoms

Tests to diagnose: 

The following tests may be done: Complete blood count (CBC), Blood clotting studies (PTT and PT), Bone marrow aspiration or biopsy and Platelet associated antibodies


The treatment includes treating the underlying cause of thrombocytopenia, blood transfusions and treatment for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. The antibodies that destroy platelets can be blocked temporarily with a corticosteroid (for example, prednisone) or intravenous immune globulin, allowing the number of platelets to increase. 


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