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Thrombocytopenia is the presence of relatively few platelets in blood. The most common causes of decreased platelet production are marrow aplasia (when the marrow is not developing naturally), fibrosis (an abnormal formation) or infiltration with malignant cells.

People with low levels of platelets bleed more easily and are prone to bruising. Platelets (thrombocytes) are colorless blood cells that play an important role in blood clotting. The number of platelets in a blood sample also decreases rather quickly with time and a low platelet count may be caused by a delay between sampling and analysis. thrombocytopenia may result from the use of certain drugs, such as quinine, quinidine, rifampin, heparin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents, histamine blockers, most chemotherapeutic agents, allopurinol and alcohol.

Person with thrombocytopenia may also complain of malaise, fatigue and general weakness (with or without accompanying blood loss). In acquired thrombocytopenia, the patient's history may include the use of one or several offending drugs.

Thrombocytopenia often occurs as a result of a separate disease or disorder. For example, a bone marrow disorder such as leukemia can interfere with platelet production and reduce the number of platelets in your blood. Platelets and red and white blood cells are made in the bone marrow, a spongy, fatty tissue found on the inside of larger bones. Certain types of chemotherapy drugs can damage the bone marrow so that it does not make enough platelets. Sometimes, thrombocytopenia occurs because of an immune system malfunction that develops for unknown reasons.

Causes of Thrombocytopenia

Common causes of Thrombocytopenia

  • Vitamin B12.
  • Leukemia.
  • Heavy alcohol consumption.
  • Sepsis and viral or bacterial infection.
  • Bone marrow megakaryocytes.
  • Hereditary syndromes.
  • Hemolytic-uremic syndrome.
  • Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.

Symptoms of Thrombocytopenia

Common Symptoms of Thrombocytopenia

  • Bruising.
  • Small purple and red spots under the skin(petechia).
  • Nosebleeds.
  • Heavier than usual menstrual periods.
  • Black or bloody bowel movements or reddish or pinkish urine.
  • Blood in the vomit.
  • Headaches.
  • Dizziness.
  • Pain in the joints or muscles.
  • Weakness.
  • Confusion.
  • Coma.

Treatment of Thrombocytopenia

Common Treatment of Thrombocytopenia

  • Corticosteroids, or medications that suppress the immune system to reduce antibody formation, such as cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) or azathioprine (Imuran).
  • Surgery is removing the spleen (splenectomy) relieves signs and symptoms or helps improve chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura that doesn't respond to corticosteroids.
  • Use an extra soft toothbrush and don't floss if your gums bleed.
  • Blow your nose gently using a soft tissue.
  • Blood transfusions Platelet concentrates are given to treat severe thrombocytopenia.
  • Avoid contact sports and other activities that might cause injury.
  • Plasma exchange.




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