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Platelet Count

About the test
What is this test done for?
To measure the amount of blood cells called platelets in blood which are important for stopping bleeding.
Why is it Done?
It is performed as a part of regular health check, helps to assess and screen or monitor conditions that affect the number of platelets in the blood such as bleeding disorders like haemophilia, bone marrow diseases like sickle cell anemia, etc.
When should it be performed?
The test is performed as part of a routine complete blood count (CBC), when there are episodes of unexplained and prolonged bleeding, spontaneous bleeding into joints.
How is it done
A blood sample will be collected from a vein in your arm. Fasting is not required for the test.
Results
The normal range value is between 1,50,000 to 4, 50,000 platelets/mL.If the levels are low, the condition is called thrombocytopenia and could be due to bone marrow diseases like sickle cell anemia; idiopathic thrombocytopenia as a result of antibody production against platelets; viral infections like mononucleosis, HIV etc; leukaemia, lymphoma, aplastic anaemia, liver cirrhosis, chemotherapy that affects bone marrow or exposure to toxic elements like pesticides or arsenic. In fevers like malaria, dengue, the platelet count drops down and the test is used to monitor treatment.
  • Elevated levels of platelets are seen in cancers like lung, digestive tract, or ovarian cancer or lymphoma.
  • Iron deficiency anaemia also could cause thrombocytosis (high levels of platelets).
  • Inflammatory bowel disease or rheumatoid arthritis is also responsible to increase the levels.
  • Tuberculosis, certain drugs like birth control pills, if spleen is removed surgically, and cases of recovery from excessive alcohol consumption can lead to high levels of platelets. Due to excessive platelets individuals will be at risk of excessive blood clotting.
  • A rare condition, thrombocythemia is caused by bone marrow disease leading to thrombocytosis.
Other Tests
A normal complete blood count (CBC) will help to give a clear picture of the totality of blood counts and help to assess the diagnosis. Specific tests will be ordered to identify the cause underlying the altered platelet levels.
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