What is Thrombocyte (Plt)? Low and High Platelets

Platelets are a group of blood cells also called platelets. In routine blood tests performed in health institutions or in health screenings performed for any reason, platelet measurement is often included in the test called hemogram. For this reason, as a result of many blood tests, platelets can be seen as platelets (PLT). The number of platelets may increase or decrease due to various diseases, just like other blood cells, erythrocytes and leukocytes. Since this provides important information in the diagnosis of diseases, blood counts are included in almost all blood tests alone or in addition to different tests.

What is Platelet (PLT)?

The question of what thrombocyte means can be answered as a type of blood cell group, also known as blood platelets or platelets. Platelets produced in the bone marrow play important roles in carrying out various chemical reactions in the blood. In many cases, such as blood clotting, repairing vascular damage and healing wounds, platelets differentiate in various ways and provide immediate closure of the trauma. In this way, while preventing blood loss, the necessary environment is prepared for the repair of damaged tissues. If the platelet count is lower than normal, blood vessels will be prone to injury and bleeding, excessive blood loss may occur in injuries, wound healing may be delayed, and blood clotting time will be prolonged.

What is the Normal Value of Platelet (PLT)?

The platelet count can vary significantly from person to person and from day to day. However, the average platelet count in healthy adult individuals is expected to be between 150,000 and 450,000 cells/mL. Therefore, the question of what the PLT value should be can be answered as between 150 and 450 thousand platelets. Many factors such as various diseases, some medications used, age, gender and pregnancy status can cause changes in these values. For this reason, the platelet count in blood results should be evaluated by the physician in a way that is specific to the individual. In some cases, lows and highs close to the limit do not pose any negative effects. However, in cases of significant low or high platelet count, the cause of this problem must be investigated.

What is Low Platelet (PLT)?

If the platelet count is lower than 150,000 cells/mL in the blood count, it is called low PLT in the blood. Another name for this condition is thrombocytopenia. There may be many health problems underlying the low platelet count in the blood. In cases such as decreased platelet production, increased platelet destruction, or blood being more dilute than normal, thrombocytopenia may occur as the number of platelets per unit of blood will decrease. In addition to some diseases, some medications, nutrition or treatments may reduce the platelet count.

Causes of Low Platelets

There are many conditions that may cause this situation in patients with low platelet count. Some of these are as follows:

  • Various acute or chronic diseases
  • Pregnancy
  • Blood transfusion
  • Sepsis (blood poisoning caused by microorganisms entering the bloodstream)
  • Side effects of some medications used
  • Anemias due to folic acid or vitamin B12 deficiency
  • aplastic anemia
  • Immunological or rheumatological diseases
  • Various types of cancer (especially hematological cancers)
  • Long-term and excessive alcohol use
  • Poisoning, exposure to toxic substances or radiation
  • Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  • Bone marrow related diseases
  • viral infections

Symptoms of Low Platelets

When PLT levels in the blood decrease, this may cause various symptoms in the person. The lower the platelet count, the more severe the symptoms are usually felt. Some symptoms of thrombocytopenia include:

  • Bruising or discoloration that appears purple, red or brown in various parts of the body
  • Intermittent nose and gum bleeding
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Difficulty in blood clotting
  • Red or purple spots on the skin (Petechiae)
  • Seeing blood in the urine
  • Anal bleeding, bloody stools or black stools (melena)
  • Bloody vomit (Hematemesis)
  • internal bleeding

Low Platelet Treatment

In order to treat low platelet count, the factor or health problem that causes this condition must first be determined exactly. In cases of mild low platelet count, if there are no problems such as bleeding or petechiae, no treatment may be required, and in this case, follow-up is generally recommended. In severe thrombocytopenia, the main purpose of treatment is to prevent bleeding and risks related to coagulation disorders. In case of low platelet count due to diseases, a treatment plan is determined against the underlying disease. In case of low platelet count due to the medications used, methods such as changing the medication or applying different treatments to increase the platelet count may be preferred. In case of severe thrombocythemia, treatment methods such as blood or platelet transfusion, spleen removal (Splenectomy), and use of corticosteroid-containing drugs may also be used.

What is Platelet (PLT) High?

Elevated PLT in the blood is when the platelet count is higher than 450,000 cells/mL. In the development of this condition, called high platelet count or thrombocytosis, the tendency to clot in the blood increases, which is the opposite of thrombocytopenia. Problems in the mechanisms related to the production and regulation of the amount of blood cells or in hormonal balance may cause an increase in platelet production. Similarly, some medications used or various diseases a person has may be effective in increasing the platelet count.

Causes of High Platelets

There are various reasons that can lead to high platelet count or thrombocytosis. Some of these are as follows:

  • Increased platelet rate due to decreased fluid content in the blood (blood becomes denser)
  • Physiologically, excessive platelet production
  • Increased platelet production due to iron mineral deficiency
  • The spleen, which is involved in platelet destruction, has lost its function or the spleen has been removed by splenectomy.
  • Tumors in the bone marrow
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases
  • rheumatic diseases
  • Various types of cancer
  • Hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells)
  • Some medications used

Symptoms of High Platelets

High PLT levels in the blood usually do not cause any symptoms in people. Therefore, in most cases, it is detected incidentally in blood count results. If there is a serious thrombocytosis condition, the patient may experience various symptoms such as dizziness, headache, chest pain, visual disturbances, hand and foot swelling, numbness, spleen swelling and itching. Since clotting problems may occur in various parts of the body due to high platelet count, the symptoms are concentrated in the area where clotting occurs. Since these clots can also occur in the heart and brain vessels, there are risks such as heart attack and stroke in severe thrombocytosis. Therefore, it is very important to apply medical treatment in cases of significant platelet elevations.

Treatment for High Platelets

Unless the platelet elevation is very severe, it does not cause any symptoms in patients, and if detected incidentally, follow-up is generally recommended. However, in cases of thrombocytosis that persists for a long time or is very severe, detailed investigations should be made into the cause of this condition and treatment should be applied if deemed necessary by the physician. Since serious risks such as heart attack and stroke occur with excessive platelet count, in such cases, the number of platelets must be reduced with a treatment called platelet pheresis or thrombopheresis. In platelet elevations that occur due to diseases, a treatment plan should be initiated after the underlying disease is determined.

If you see that your blood count (hemogram) results show a low or high platelet count other than the normal PLT value, you can consult your doctor and get information about the reasons for this situation.

 

Abbas Jahangir

I am a researcher and writer with a background in food and nutritional science. I am the founder of Foodstrend.com, our reputable online platform offering scientifically-backed articles on health, food, nutrition, kitchen tips, recipes, diet, and fitness. With a commitment to providing accurate and reliable information, we strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle choices. Join us on Foodstrend.com's journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle.

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