Thrombocytes, also called platelets, are a type of blood cell found in the human body that helps our blood to clot. Along with red blood cells and white blood cells, platelet levels are assessed with a comprehensive blood count (CBC). Specifically, the platelet evaluation includes: platelet count, mean platelet volume, and platelet distribution width. Most people have a CBC performed as a part of a routine health examination. A CBC may also be ordered when a person has signs and symptoms that may indicate a disorder involving blood cells, such as:
In addition, when a person is diagnosed with a disease known to affect blood cells then a healthcare professional will order routine CBCs to monitor the condition. Similarly, if someone is receiving treatment for a blood-related disorder, then a CBC will be ordered routinely to determine the efficacy of the treatment. Further, when someone is taking medications known to affect bone marrow production of cells or decrease white blood cell count overall (e.g., chemotherapy), routine CBC can be used to monitor the treatment.
A low platelet count, known as thrombocytopenia, may indicate a number of health issues such as:
-Sepsis, blood infection
-Cancers like leukemia & lymphoma
-Cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy
-Cirrhosis of the liver
A high platelet count, known as thrombocytosis, can be caused by:
-Cancers (lung, breast ovarian, gastrointestinal)
-Inflammatory disorders like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis
-Iron deficiency anemia
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