Your Platelet Count

What Causes Abnormal Platelet Count?

Abnormal platelet count can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'needs attention' to 'critical'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose abnormal platelet count, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "abnormal platelet count" as a symptom.  Here are five possibilities:
  • Aplastic Anemia
  • Hepatitis
  • Lupus (SLE)
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Stress

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
major fatigue for 3-12 months
disturbed sleep
recurring depression
recent death of a loved one
multiple painful cervical nodes
mildly elevated ANA levels
stiff neck
sugar/sweet craving
non-vaginal candidiasis
sensitivity to bright light
herpes type II
unexplained high fevers
... and more than 100 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of abnormal platelet count:
Cause Probability Status
Stress 99% Confirm
Lupus (SLE) 28% Unlikely
HIV/AIDS 3% Ruled out
Hepatitis 2% Ruled out
Aplastic Anemia 1% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate having had recent lab tests, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Platelet count (PLT). Unit: x10^3/uL or x10^9/L
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ Under 100
→ 100 to 149
→ 150 to 450 (normal)
→ Over 450
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate very low platelet count, low platelet count, normal platelet count or high platelet count, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Lupus, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus)

Lupus is suggested if thrombocytopenia (a low platelet count of under 100,000 platelets per cubic millimeter) is detected in the absence of drugs that are known to induce it.

Hepatitis

Hepatitis C may cause or contribute to a secondary ITP.

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