Thrombocytes or popularly called platelets are small blood cells that help in the clotting process and stop bleeding quickly. When blood vessels get impaired, platelets receive signals from the brain and they quickly move to the injured area, bind together to close and fix the impaired tissue.
Platelets shape change
Thrombocytes are normally not visible to naked eyes but only through microscopes. Platelets that are non-active are shaped like tiny plates. When injury happens, the signaling process sends off message to the platelet and then they change their shape into their active form. They quickly respond to the signals and move to the injury site. They tie the broken blood vessels. For this, each thrombocyte grows like tentacle, which makes them look like small octopuses.
Healthy Thrombocytes count
A normal thrombocytes count is 150,000 – 450,000 per microliter of circulating blood. A value less than the normal count indicates thrombocytopenia and a value above the maximum count indicates thrombocytosis. Platelet count can be checked through lab tests like complete blood count (CBC).
Significance of high thrombocytes count
High thrombocytes count is divided in two types;
- Primary (Essential) thrombocystosis: This describes a boost in the number of platelets due to irregular cell production in the bone marrow. The definite cause for the condition is yet known.
- Secondary thrombocytosis: It is a medical condition similar to primary thrombocytosis but due to a consistent medical condition or disease, such as cancer, infection, anemia and inflammation.
High value in the thrombocytes count could cause spontaneous blood clots, usually in the arms and legs. If you take it as granted, it can cause heart attack or stroke. Some patients need to undergo procedures like platelet pheresis in which platelets are decreased through a kind of blood extraction process and then they are filtered out and returned back to the body. Secondary thrombocytosis is usually related with a medical condition, and dealing with the condition itself can help decrease the volume.
Thrombocytes and cardiovascular diseases
Too much thrombocytes in the blood that it is required can increase the possibility of instances of blood clotting. The way the increased number of thrombocytes works is a prime concern than the number itself. Mostly, they create a chance of platelets sticking together aggressively and finally lead to stroke or heart attack.
What you should do?
Abnormal platelet count, high platelet and low platelet count that causes abnormal blood clots, strokes or heart attacks can be due to hereditary conditions. You should be keeping in touch with your doctor in such conditions. Remember, some over-the-counter medicines like aspirin is a common blood-thinning substance. So, use it with high caution. Studies indicate that women under 65 years old don’t normally experience same results with aspirin as men do, however no authenticated final conclusions on the matter has been made yet.
This is a condition of low platelet count in the blood. There are many causes for the condition, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, which inhibit platelet production due to the suppressive effects on the blood.
Other conditions that may cause low platelet count or thrombocytopenia include viral infections that affect the bone marrow, HELLP syndrome in pregnancy, autoimmune syndromes like lupus, a mechanical heart valve, immune thrombocytopenic purpura, heparin antibodies, severe alcohol abuse, certain medications, live disease, toxic exposures and severe sepsis.
Platelet count below 20,000 per microliter is life-threatening condition as it could cause spontaneous bleeding, which may be hard to stop. In that case, the patient may be given a platelet transfusion.
You might have heard it by other way – high platelet count. This condition generally occurs due to a primary bone marrow disorder, such as essential thrombocytosis or due to chronic inflammation in the body, iron deficiency anemia, infection, or removal of spleen.
Thrombocytosis is usually found in cancer patients, especially with gastrointestinal cancer, and also with breast, lymphoma, ovarian and lung cancer. This could be due to inflammation related to the malignancy, which stimulates the production of platelets in the bone marrow. Thrombocytosis can also be caused by conditions like IBD and rheumatoid arthritis. Besides this, a temporary elevation in the platelet count can occur after a trauma or major surgery.
There are many things you would want to know about thrombocytes. Platelet count is something that we can’t take it as granted.