Thrombocytopenia, Overview, Types, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Complications, Prevention, and Management

Thrombocytes, also known as platelets, are the odorless blood cells that play a significant role in blood clotting. Platelets stop bleeding in injured blood vessels or from the cuts by clumping and forming plugs. Platelets are made in the bone marrow along with many other cells. They travel together in the whole circulatory system and stick to stop any kind of bleeding that happens in the case of a damaged or injured blood vessel. Thrombocytopenia is a condition with the blood platelet count drops. When there are not enough platelet in the blood, the body won’t be able to clot.

The condition of thrombocytopenia can go from mild to severe, which can be dangerous, and internal bleeding can occur like bleeding in the eyes, gums, or bladder. The average platelet count in the body is 150,000 to 400,000. If the platelet count drops below 150,000, then the person may have thrombocytopenia. The risk of internal bleeding usually does not occur unless the platelet count drops to a great extinct, which is less than 10,000 or 20,000 per microliter. Mild bleeding can be seen in the case of blood count lower than 50, 000. The treatment of thrombocytopenia is dependent upon many causes. Treatment may not even be required in mild cases. However, if the condition puts you on severe bleeding risk, you may require medicines, blood, or platelet transfusions. Sometimes, you may even need surgical removal of the spleen.

The spleen is the organ responsible for storing one-third of the body’s platelets, helping the body fight infection. But in some conditions, the spleen becomes enlarged, which starts to cause a wide number of problems, including storing too many platelets, which results in decreased platelet count in circulation.

1Types Of Thrombocytopenia


There are many genetic and environmental factors associated with the development of thrombocytopenia. Depending upon the causes, it has been divided into few categories. Some of the specific types of thrombocytopenia include;

Immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)

It is a type of thrombocytopenia caused by increased platelet destruction or decreased platelet production in the bone marrow. ITP is a medical term that describes low blood count. Idiopathic or immune thrombocytopenic purpura can cause bruising, bleeding, and immune reactions. Antibodies can cause the problem of ITP. These antibodies are produced in the body to defend against foreign materials, including bacteria and viruses. These antibodies usually prevent infection, but they can also act abnormally and can affect healthy tissues also. The condition occurs when the immune cells that produce antibodies receive mixed signals and consider a normal tissue as foreign tissue and reject it. In ITP, the platelets are recognized as invaders or foreigners to the immune system, and antibodies are created against them. The antibodies then destroy the platelet and inhibit its production.

ITP is not limited to any age group and can affect both children and adults. However, it seems to be more common in women at younger ages, while in adults, it’s common in males.

ITP can be acute and chronic. Chronic ITP can last from weeks to months. The common symptoms seen in ITP include bleeding from cuts, urine, stool, and nose. Females suffer from heavy menstruation, and bruises can also be seen on the body of ITP patients.

The people of ITP are asked to limit the intake of alcohol as it reduces the number of platelets in the body and can have an adverse effect on platelets’ efficiency in blood clotting. Also, the use of drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen should be avoided as they can affect platelet function.