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The condition of having an abnormally small number of platelets in the circulating blood.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a decrease in the number of platelets to fewer than 200,000 per mm3 in the peripheral blood. It may result from the redistribution of platelets in the bloodstream or from hemorrhage. Other causes are the intensified loss of platelets associated with thrombocytopenic purpura, splenomegaly, disseminated intravascular thrombosis, and the use of certain drugs. Thrombocytopenia may also result from disturbance of platelet formation in the bone marrow in leukemia or aplastic anemia, and from ionizing radiation. Blood clotting is impaired in thrombocytopenia, resulting in a tendency of the mucous membranes to bleed, as well as in hemorrhaging and the appearance of petechiae in the internal organs. Bleeding usually becomes continuous when the platelet count falls below 20,000–30,000 per mm3 of blood. Therapy involves treatment of the underlying disease, administration of hemostatics, and transfusion of platelets.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
A major problem in patients who are undergoing rehabilitation after cancer surgery or chemotherapy is that platelet counts go down, and patients develop thrombopenia and bleed easily.
A major problem in patients who are rehabilitating after cancer surgery or chemotherapy is that platelet counts go down, and patients develop thrombopenia and bleed easily.
Laboratory findings included hemoglobin 12.3 g/dL (reference range 13.8-17.2 g/dL); creatinine 1.52 mg/ dL (reference range 0.7-1.3 mg/dL); total and direct/conjugated bilirubin 18.4 and 12.8 mg/dL (reference ranges total 0.3-1.9 mg/dL; direct/conjugated 0-0.3 mg/dL), lactate dehydrogenase 822 IU/L (reference range 105-333 IU/L; and showed thrombopenia, low haptoglobina, and hematuria.
His laboratory results showed moderate anemia (hemoglobin 11.8 g/dL) and thrombopenia (134,000 platelets/[mm.sup.3]) and elevated levels of C-reactive protein (30.6 mg/L) and gammaglobulins (23.9 g/L).
Biological findings for the 2 patients showed a leukocyte count within normal ranges, anemia, thrombopenia, high levels of C-reactive protein, and elevated liver enzymes.