A healthy person would have a minimum platelet count of 150,000 micro liters up to 450, 000 micro liters. However, when some certain diseases like leukemia or lymphoma happen, a person’s platelet count would drop. This kind of condition is called thrombocytopenia. There are three main types of thrombocytopenia depending on the cause of the decrease of platelets.
Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura or Immune Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP)
In this type of thrombocytopenia blood platelets are destroyed when antibodies coat them. There are two different forms of this type. These are the acute and the chronic ITP. Acute ITP often occurs in children. It happens suddenly and does not pose the serious threat to the person suffering from it. On the other hand, chronic ITP often occurs to adults because it develops over time. This lasts longer than the acute ITP and could become dangerous if not treated immediately.
The treatment of the two is quite similar though. A patient can be given oral steroids, immunoglobulins or anti-D antibody. Removal of the spleen might also be needed if the case is severe and if the patient is not responding well to any kind of medication or treatment. Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP) In TTP, small clots are formed in the circulation of the blood and consumes platelets. This causes the level of platelets to drop. Limited studies show that the cause of TTP could be ADAMTA13. This is the lack of enzyme activity that causes the breakdown of ULvWF to be defective. This type of thrombocytopenia can be acquired or it could also be inherited. However, it is quite rear and treatment of it would need to be handled by specialists. A patient of TTP might need a plasma exchange to provide the body with normal ADAMTS13 activity. During a plasma exchange, two separate IV lines would be placed in different veins. Blood is removed with one and is mixed with new blood. The mixture would then go through the other line and would enter the veins.
Taking steroids, red cell transfusion, platelet transfusion, vaccination and even taking supplements are some initial treatments of TTP. Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome (HUS) HUS is a type of thrombocytopenia that can also be characterized by kidney failure and microangiopathic hemololytic anemia. This disorder is mostly caused by some bacteria in the blood that reduce the level of platelets, interrupts the production of cells and damage the kidney among others. E. coli is a common strain of these bacteria. Just like TTP, treatment for HUS needs to be handled by specialists. A patient needs to be treated for kidney failure and would need dialysis at the first stages of the disease. Blood transfusion may also be needed, as well as plasma exchange for some.
Thrombocytopenia is a condition that could also be caused by medication. Some patients who do not have the characteristics of the three types mentioned above may have acquired this illness from the drugs they take. It is still best to immediately consult a doctor if you are experiencing any of the symptoms, no matter how mild they are. If you want to read more about this disorder, check out this detailed information on low platelet count.