What are the symptoms of thrombocytopenia?

Mild cases of thrombocytopenia may not produce any symptoms. The symptoms of moderate thrombocytopenia are related to problems in blood clotting, such as frequent or easy bruising or bleeding, nosebleeds, bleeding gums, or a rash. In severe cases, unexplained bruising or bleeding may occur, including bleeding in the brain or in other internal organs.

Common symptoms of thrombocytopenia

You may experience thrombocytopenia symptoms daily or just once in a while. At times, any of these symptoms can be severe:

  • Bleeding of the gums
  • Nosebleeds
  • Rash (petechiae, or red, pinprick-sized spots on the skin)
  • Skin discoloration such as bruising

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

In some cases, thrombocytopenia can be life threatening. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these potentially life-threatening symptoms including:

  • Severe or uncontrollable bleeding
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Unexplained bruising
INTRODUCTION

What is thrombocytopenia?

Thrombocytopenia is a disorder in which there are too few platelets in the blood. Platelets are small, disk-shaped cellular fragments in the bloodstream that help the blood to clot. Thus, thrombocytopenia is often characterized by excessive bleeding, including nosebleeds and easy bruising. Thrombocytopenia can be diagnosed by a routine blood test.... Read more about thrombocytopeniaintroduction

CAUSES

What causes thrombocytopenia?

Thrombocytopenia, or a low level of platelets in the blood, can arise from a variety of diseases, disorders or conditions that cause either low platelet production or excessive platelet breakdown. Platelet breakdown can occur in the bloodstream, liver or spleen.... Read more about thrombocytopeniacauses

TREATMENTS

How is thrombocytopenia treated?

In mild cases of thrombocytopenia, no treatment may be required. For moderate cases, treatment depends on the cause of thrombocytopenia. In cases related to medications or environmental contaminants, thrombocytopenia may resolve on its own once the underlying cause is removed. In other moderate cases, medication may be prescribed in order to increase platelet counts. In severe thrombocytopenia, procedures such as blood transfusion, platelet transfusion, or splenectomy (surgical removal of the spleen) may be necessary.... Read more about thrombocytopeniatreatments

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 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