What is high platelets?

High platelets is a condition in which the blood contains more platelets than normal. Platelets are small blood cell fragments that assist in blood clotting. In a healthy person, there are usually 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood. A high platelet count can be identified through routine blood tests.

Blood Problems Spotlight


The occurrence of high platelets is divided into two medical categories: primary thrombocythemia and secondary thrombocytosis. In primary thrombocythemia, the cause of the high platelets is not known, and it occurs as an independent condition. In secondary thrombocytosis, high platelets occurs as a symptom of another disease or condition, such as anemia, infection or cancer.

In many cases, high platelets may not produce specific symptoms. In other cases, the elevation in platelet levels leads to the development of unwanted and unnecessary blood clotting throughout the body, which can produce a number of symptoms.

The presence of high platelets is rarely associated with a medical emergency. However, in some cases, high platelets may cause blood clotting, bleeding or stroke. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if high platelets are accompanied by a persistent headache, difficulty breathing, dizziness, seizures, changes in speech, or confusion or loss of consciousness for even a brief moment.

If your high platelets condition is persistent or causes you concern, seek prompt medical care.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with high platelets?

High platelets may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. However, some people who have high platelets may not experience any other symptoms. In these individuals, high platelets may only be detected through routine blood tests.

People with primary thrombocythemia have a higher risk of bleeding and blood clots than those wi... Read more about high plateletssymptoms

CAUSES

What causes high platelets?

Platelets are made in bone marrow, the tissue located inside of bones. Abnormally high platelet production may occur independently, for reasons that are not known (primary thrombocythemia), or as a symptom of another condition (secondary thrombocytosis).

Causes of high platelets in primary thrombocythemia

Thrombocythemia is a condition in which high platelets occur as a... Read more about high plateletscauses

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 2, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Heart, Blood and Circulation