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Bleeding and Clotting Disorders

High platelet count

06/27/2008

Question:

Hi, I am a 42 year old female, I recently went to my Dr. for a routine checkup. He did a CBC, as well as cholesterol and thyroid tests. I do have hypothyroid disease, and take 100mcg of Synthroid daily. My question is this, my blood tests revealed an elevated platelet level of 469. My doctor did not mention it too me on the phone, it was only when I received the results in the mail, I noticed the elevation? My Dad was recently hospialized for a blood clot in his leg which broke loose causing a pulmonary embolism, he is 59 and is O.K. but does have to take coumadin daily. Is this elevation in my blood platelets a danger to me for developing blood clots? Where should I go from here? Are there other reasons that may contribute to the elevated level? I am very concerned givin the family history? My red and white cell counts were both normal, however my cholesterol was abnormal, please give me some insight on this matter. Thank You

Answer:

It is difficult to say anything very specific about your particular case without being able to interview and examined you, but the elevation of your platelet count is quite mild. Although it is possible (not likely with such a mild elevation), it could be related to a blood disorder called essential thrombocytosis. More likely, the elevation in the platelet count is due to stress or inflammation as the platelet count with increase in response to physiologic stress. I would encourage you to discuss these issues with your physician who ordered the blood work.

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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