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Low Platelets Circulating in the Blood Stream

Updated on February 16, 2015

There can be several causative factors that could lead to thrombocytopenia or low platelet count. This is a disorder that can result from factors like genetics where a person may have inherited the medical condition from his or her parents. Also, it can be an acquired type of disorder, meaning it just developed post-birth. Determining the cause for decreased blood platelets can’t always be determined easily.

The most commons factors that could lead to thrombocytopenia are the following:

  • Platelets are not being formed adequately by the bone marrow.
  • Even in cases where the bone marrow is functioning properly, the body may have a medical condition where it aims to destroy or utilize platelets rapidly.
  • Platelets are being stored in the spleen more than what is normally expected.

One or a combination of the items above can result to decreased platelets.

In any case where blood platelets goes below the normal range, it can be considered as thrombocytopenia. The normal platelet count range is 150,000 to 450,000 per microliter of the circulating blood. A platelet can live for only about 10 days before it will be replaced with new platelets which are being formed in the bone marrow.

How specifically does these platelets get reduced in number?

1. The Production of Platelet is Impaired

Thrombocytes or platelets are made in the bone marrow. Development of certain diseases that affects the bone marrow, such anemia and leukemia, will impair the formation and release of platelets to the blood stream. And also, viral infections like HIV can alter the bone marrow’s capability to form thrombocytes. Medical procedures like chemotherapy as well as use of specific substances and drugs can affect platelet production negatively.

2. Much Platelets are Being Contained by the Spleen

One organ that aids in blood purification as well as platelet storage is called spleen. This is anatomically located on a person’s left side and just on top of the stomach level. It also functions for the immune system, dealing with diseases, where it filters extra blood cells as it circulates. However, due to any spleen infection – which may be a result of a medical condition – there will be an increase of platelets being stored, causing a decrease of platelets in the blood stream.

3. Platelet are Being Consumed Rapidly

There are conditions that can affect a platelets rate of consumption and utilization. Some diseases increases the rate of use, or worst, destroy platelets fast, where production can’t compensate for the rapid loss. Therefore, available platelets in the blood stream will be scarce. Here are some of the conditions:

• Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). This kind of disease make it so that your body miss-identify platelets as dangerous material. This triggers the system to produce antibodies to go after the platelets to destroy them.

• Autoimmune disorders. There are more diseases similar to Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) which initiates the body’s immune system to eliminate normal blood components such as platelets. This results to a really low platelet level, thrombocytopenia as mentioned above. Conditions under such category includes lupus and arthritis.

• Hemolytic uremic affliction. A medical disorder where a sudden decrease of circulating blood platelets can be noticed. This observation happens along impairment of red blood cells and the kidneys. It is usually connected with Escherichia coli (E. coli) infection which can be acquired when eating raw meat.

• Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). This is certainly a rare disease where clotting of blood are being TTP is certainly an unusual medical condition that happens in which blood clots are made in an abrupt manner throughout the blood stream. This is formed from a great number of blood platelets.

• Medications. There are substances or medicines that can decrease the volume of platelets in the blood stream. These medication results to low platelets because of certain effects, causing the body’s immune system to eliminate platelets, just like autoimmune disorders. A good example are interferon, sulfa-containing antibiotics, quinidine, interferon, quinine, heparin, and anticonvulsants.

• Pregnancy. This is another of the conditions that can cause a mild reduction of platelets in the blood.

• Penetration of Bacteria in the Blood. The blood is totally a sterile environment. The viable presence of bacteria in the blood stream indicates blood infection which is called bacteremia. This condition is a bacterial invasion that can constitute platelet destruction. This type of infection can lead to sepsis, a serious body wide infection.

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)
Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)


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