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Bleeding and Clotting Disorders

Aggregation of platelets

03/27/2008

Question:

I was diagnosed with thrombocytopenia about a year ago, but yesterday the doctor confirmed from a FBP test that my platelets are aggregated and said that I do not have low platelets (I was then told that my case is closed and I don`t have to go back anymore).

However, when I looked through my patient history, I realised that on my very first visit, the medical specialist have already put me through the same test and my platelets are already aggregated then.

Is it just that the doctor on my second visit have overlooked the results, and aggregation of platelets is nothing?

Answer:

While it is hard to comment on the specifics of your case, it sounds as though you have platelets that clump in response to the anticoagulant in the test tube (EDTA). When this happens doctors will test you platelet count in another anticoagulant, giving an accurate platelet count.

If this is what happened to you, when they checked in the other anticoag. and got a normal result, it would be a non-issue. You don't have low platelets, but rather clumping that articfactually gives a low reading.

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Response by:

Spero R Cataland, MD Spero R Cataland, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University