Thrombocytopenia

Terry Gernsheimer, MD, and Michele B. Frank, MD


Dr. Gernsheimer: Puget Sound Blood Center and University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA
Dr. Frank: Cascade Cancer Center, Kirkland, WA

Copyright of the American Society of Hematology, 2006. ISSN: 1931-6860.

This case was reviewed and updated in January 2011 by Dr. Alvin H. Schmaier and members of the Teaching Cases Subcommittee.

IV. PATHOPHYSIOLOGY

Four Pathophysiologic Mechanisms for Thrombocytopenia

Select each mechanism to learn about the causes.

The history, physical exam and initial laboratory data help to differentiate between the mechanisms of thrombocytopenia. Bone marrow aspirate and biopsy are used to assess the number of megakaryocytes, and to infer decreased production or destruction, but may not be required for a clinical diagnosis.

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