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Thrombocytopenia is a condition that ranges from mild to severe, depending on the cause. Symptoms may include severe hemorrhage, which can be fatal if not treated.
- white blood cells,
- the blood platelets – thrombocytes.
When we are injury or fracture, platelets clump together to form clots to stop bleeding. In the case of bleeding diathesis the plate, where it appears the lack or limited amount of platelets in the blood, the body can not form clots.
Low blood platelet count, it is mostly the result of the state of health, such as leukemia or the effects of certain drugs.
The symptoms thrombocytopenia
Thrombocytopenia depends on the number of platelets. Mild cases in which the number of platelets due for example of the prior of pregnancy usually not cause any symptoms. More severe cases can cause uncontrolled bleeding that requires immediate medical attention.
Thrombocytopenia can manifest itself with:
- red, purple or brown bruises,
- rash in the form of small red or purple dots (petechiae)
- hemorrhage from the nose,
- bleeding gums,
- bleedings wound that last for an extended period,
- heavy menstrual bleedings,
- bleedings from the anus,
- blood in the stool,
- blood in urine.
In more severe cases, there may also be internal bleeding. Rarely, but it may also occur in the brain bleeding. At a low number of platelets, there are also headaches or neurological problems.
The causes of thrombocytopenia
Among the causes of the low platelet count, include:
bone marrow problems, which is involved in the formation of platelets; They manifest themselves as aplastic anemia, deficiency of vitamin B12, folic acid or iron, viral infections (HIV, Epstein-Barr virus, varicella);
- the exposure to chemotherapy, radiation or toxic chemicals,
- drink too much alcohol,
- destruction of platelets – each healthy platelet lives about ten days, but due to the small quantities and the use of certain drugs, they may be subject to destruction,
- hypersplenism or splenomegaly,
- autoimmune disorders,
- bacterial infection of the blood,
- idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)
- thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP)
- hemolytic uremic syndrome,
- intravascular coagulation (DIC).
Diagnosis and treatment of thrombocytopenia
Suspicion of thrombocytopenia, a doctor evaluates first, by checking the body for unusual bruising or petechiae, including rashes, which are often accompanied by a small number of blood platelets. Also, the spleen is checked (if it is not enlarged) and is assessed the medical history of the family.
For the diagnosis of the disease, it is also performed a blood test for blood platelets, blood coagulation, and platelet antibodies. It is also carried out an ultrasound scan, aspiration or bone marrow biopsy.
Treatment of thrombocytopenia depends on the cause and severity of the disease. The doctor can recommend the measures to prevent damage, including avoiding contact sports or activities with a high risk of bleeding or bruising. It is not recommended the use of alcohol and use of certain medications.
Thrombocytopenia is treated by:
- transfusions of blood or platelets,
- change drugs which contribute to the reduction of platelet count,
- corticosteroids to block platelet antibodies,
- medicines that suppress the immune system,
- splenectomy or surgical removal of the spleen.
Treatment of mild cases of the disease is not necessary, but severe thrombocytopenia states require attention.