Thrombocytosis and its causes

Thrombocytosis is a condition in which there are a high number of platelets.

Bones contain sponge tissue, the bone marrow, which has basic cells that are transformed into red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. Platelets travel through the blood vessels and suppress to clot the blood so that bleeding stops when damage to the blood vessel occurs, such as when we cut a finger.

Under normal circumstances, a platelet should have between 150.000 and 450.000 per microliter of blood and thrombocytosis a condition with an increased platelet count (over 400 x 109 / L).

If cause is a bone marrow disorder, the bone marrow produces a large number of cells that make platelets and release too many platelets into the blood. Moreover, If blood counts reveal a large number of platelets, it must be decided whether it is reactive thrombocytosis or thrombocythemia .

The increased platelet count that results from the clonal disease of the pluripotent hematopoiesis stem cell, that is, the autonomic exuberance of the platelet lineage, is called primary thrombocytosis.

These include primary essential thrombocytosis or thrombocythemia and thrombocytosis in chronic myeloproliferative diseases (chronic granulocytic leukemia, polycythemia vera, osteomyelofibrosis). Presence of enormous pathological megakaryocytes in the bone marrow is indicator for primary thrombocytosis

thrombocytosis causes
thrombocytosis causes

Treatment consists of the administration of cytostatics, anti reactive agents and thrombocytopheresis.

Secondary or reactive thrombocytosis occurs during sideropenic anemia, chronic inflammation, malignancies, after splenectomy, after exertion, bleeding, etc. There is an increased number of megakaryocytes in the bone marrow of these patients, normal in shape and size. In addition to treating the underlying disease, it is advised to administer antiplatelet agents (acetylsalicylic acid, dipyridamole, etc.).

Thrombocytosis Symptoms

Reactive thrombocytosis rarely causes symptoms. Most patients do not have any symptoms at the time of diagnosis that may lead to suspected thrombocytosis. Most patients experience symptoms that result from the formation of clots in the small and medium blood vessels.

If blood platelets are too low, the risk of bleeding, including menstrual bleeding, increases. If there are too many platelets, they can cause thrombosis or blood clots – which can end in a fatal outcome. In addition, there is a reasonable risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Some of the symptoms that may occur are:

  • limb soreness when exposed to cold,
  • the frequent occurrence of tingling and numbness in the fingers,
  • temporary vision changes,
  • the possible onset of seizures,
  • weight loss,bleeding on the skin and gums,
  • joint and muscle pain,
  • high body temperature,
  • enlarged liver and spleen

thrombocytosis symptoms

Slight bleeding from the nose (epistaxis) and gums, blood in your stool, and bruising that you don’t know can sometimes occur, all of which are effective indicators of thrombocytosis. Thrombocytopenia is a condition of over-reduced platelet concentration in the blood. Reduced platelet concentration in the blood is considered to be any value below 150 and 450 x 109 platelets per liter of blood.

Both conditions can be life-threatening and you should see your doctor for the first symptoms to determine the diagnosis and treatment.


Doctors use cause-oriented treatment for reactive thrombocytosis. If the cause is previous surgery or an injury that caused significant blood loss, the thrombocytosis will not last long. If the cause is a chronic infection or inflammatory disease, platelet levels may remain elevated until the condition is brought back into control. Moreover, doctors should give the therapy as soon as possible to try to prevent life – threatening conditions.