What is Platelet distribution width (PDW)?
Platelet distribution width (PDW) reflects variability in platelet size, and is considered a marker of platelet function and activation.
What is the function of platelets?
Platelets play an important role in the processes of coagulation, inflammation, and immune response.
Why is this marker useful?
This marker can give you additional information about your platelets and the cause of a high or low platelet count. Larger platelets are usually younger platelets that have been released earlier than normal from the bone marrow, while smaller platelets may be older and have been in circulation for a few days.
PDW reflects how uniform the platelets are in size. A normal PDW indicates platelets that are mostly the same size, while a high PDW means that platelet size varies greatly, a clue that there is platelet activation and has been associated with vascular diseases and certain cancers.
Sometimes during the test, platelets stick together and the machine gives a false reading, interpreting it as fewer, larger platelets. In that case, the lab may do a blood smear and directly examine the platelets under a microscope.
Higher MPV and PDW levels may be associated with inflammation and thyroid malignancies.
A high PDW means that platelet size varies greatly, a clue that there is platelet activation and has been associated with vascular diseases and certain cancers.
Higher MPV and PDW levels also may be associated with inflammation and thyroid malignancies.
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