Thrombocytopenia Syndrome: Risk Factors, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention – Thrombocytopenia is a condition when the number of pieces of blood (platelets) is low, below normal values. Platelets play a role in stopping bleeding in the event of wounds or damage in blood vessels. Lack of platelet count can cause blood to clot difficult.
The normal platelet count in the blood is as much as 150,000 – 450,000 cells per microliter of blood. If the number of platelets is less than 150,000, then a person can be considered to suffer from thrombocytopenia. A person suffering from thrombocytopenia is prone to bleeding, such as easy bruising, nosebleeds, or bleeding gums.
Thrombocytopenia can be caused by several conditions, such as dengue fever, ITP, aplastic anemia, and leukemia; or as a result of radiotherapy and chemotherapy side effects. When the number of platelets drops not too low or still above 50,000, it generally does not require special treatment to increase the number of platelets.
Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Risk Factors
There are several factors that can trigger thrombocytopenia, among others:
- Diseases of blood cancer, lymphoma, or thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.
- Blood disorders, such as aplastic anemia.
- Excessive alco**hol consumption.
- Chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
- Viral infections, such as HIV, chicken pox, and hepatitis C.
- Bacterial infection in the blood.
- Certain medications, such as heparin, quinine, or anticonvulsant drugs.
- Autoimmune conditions, such as lupus.
Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Cause
The lack of platelets in the blood can be caused by decreased platelet production in the bone marrow or faster platelet destroying process than the production process. In most cases, thrombocytopenia that has been most acute, often caused by dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). In addition to dengue fever, viral infections such as hepatitis and HIV.
Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Symptoms
Symptoms and signs of thrombocytopenia usually depend on how low the number of platelets in your blood.
If the number of platelets drops to 10 thousand-50 thousand microliters (mcL), it means that you have mild thrombocytopenia. This condition will usually cause internal bleeding, such as bruising or hematoma.
Meanwhile, if the body is deficient in platelets until it reaches below 10,000 mcL, it can cause signs such as purpura (bruising on the skin), sudden bleeding, and petechiae (small spots on the skin).
Some of the possible common characteristics of low platelets are as follows:
- The presence of purpura, or bruising on the skin is characterized by reddish, purple, or even brown colors.
- There is a rash with small dots that are usually red or purple called petechiae. Usually found on the lower leg
- Bleeding gums
- Bleeding from the wound that lasts for a long time and does not stop by itself
- Heavy bleeding during menstruation
- Bleeding from the rectum
In more serious cases, you may experience bleeding internally. Signs of internal bleeding include:
- The presence of blood in the stool
- The presence of blood in the urine
- Vomiting blood with a very dark blood color.
Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the above signs. The doctor will usually perform a blood test and take the necessary steps to avoid complications.
Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Diagnosis
As a first step, the doctor will perform a physical examination to see whether or not the bruising or rash on the skin is suspected to be caused by thrombocytopenia. The abdomen of the patient will also be examined to see the potential enlargement of the spleen that causes platelet loss.
In addition, the doctor will also conduct a number of other supporting examinations that include:
- Complete blood test: to see the number of blood cells, especially platelets and platelet antibodies.
- Sometimes it is also accompanied by a blood clotting factor test.
- Ultrasound: to detect the enlargement of the spleen.
- Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy: to see the presence of bone marrow problems.
Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Treatment
Treatment for a platelet reduction in the body varies by person, depending on the cause and severity of the disease. If it is mild, your doctor will usually only monitor your health condition for some time to come.
But if the symptoms are already severe, you may need medical treatment. Types of thrombocytopenia treatment that can be given include:
- Blood or platelet transfusions
- Administration of immune globulin by an expert doctor
- Administration of corticosteroids to block platelet-damaging antibodies
- Replacing drugs that suppress your immune system
- Spleen removal surgery (splenectomy).
Not all cases of thrombocytopenia require special treatment. The number of pieces of blood or platelets can return to normal if the changes are not very significant. Immediately check with a doctor if you experience symptoms of a decrease in the number of platelets in the body.
Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Prevention
There are several ways that can be done to prevent thrombocytopenia, among others:
- Avoid sports that involve a lot of physical contact, such as football or boxing.
- Avoid activities with a high risk of bleeding or bruising.
- Use a fluffy toothbrush to prevent bleeding gums.
- Wear a seat belt while in the car.
- Limit alco**hol consumption, as alco**hol can aggravate bleeding.
- Stop or replace drugs that interfere with platelet count, e.g. Aspirin and ibuprofen.
- Image: Ed Uthman from Houston, TX, USA, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
- Video: Pathology Riddles.
Last Updated on June 21, 2021 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team