Symptoms, Signs and Diagnosis of Thrombocytopenia

Dr. Nithin Jayan
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nithin Jayan, MBBS, DNB
Last Updated on Mar 07, 2019
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Symptoms, Signs and Diagnosis of Thrombocytopenia

Symptoms of Thrombocytopenia

Some of the symptoms of thrombocytopenia include-

  • Surgery-associated bleeding
  • Bleeding from the nose or gums
  • Cuts and bruises that bleed for a long duration
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding which tend to occur in between periods
  • Blood observed in stools or urine
  • Bleeding observed on lower legs or feet, which appear as a rash of reddish-purple spots or also known as petechiae
  • Bruising very easily
  • Purpura or bleeding under the skin that appears as big dark spots, and do not turn white when pressed.
  • Bleeding that occurs within the skin is called ecchymoses. They have purple or blue coloration, which turns to yellow or green, over time.

When the platelet count is lower than 20 000, severe thrombocytopenia sets in. Any accident can cause severe bleeding due to this condition.

Diagnosis of Thrombocytopenia

Visual examination: Doctors can detect thrombocytopenia in some cases by visually examining for bleeding patches in the skin (eg, purpura, petechiae). Doctors can press the abdomen to detect an enlarged spleen.

Blood count: Thrombocytopenia can be diagnosed by a blood test that detects the blood count. The complete blood count analyzes the number of blood cells, which include platelets. The normal range for platelets is 150 000 to 450 000. When the platelet count is lower than 150 000, the individual is said to have thrombocytopenia.

Thrombocytopenia Blood Count

Bone marrow study: Through this study, the number, size, and level of maturity of the megakaryocytes can be determined. Platelet production can be assessed with this information, and treatment can be recommended.

References:

  1. Thrombocytopenia - (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000586.htm)
  2. About Thrombocytopenia - (http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/thcp/)
  3. Albers CA et al. Compound inheritance of a low-frequency regulatory SNP and a rare null mutation in exon-junction complex subunit RBM8A causes TAR syndrome. Nat Genet. February 2012;44(4):435-439.
  4. Thrombocytopenia and ITP - (http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/thrombocytopenia-symptoms-causes-treatments)
  5. Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) - (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/thrombocytopenia/DS00691/DSECTION=symptoms)

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