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Bleeding and Clotting Disorders

Platelets

11/14/2008

Question:

We have a relative that is being treated for cancer that the doctors say is NOT in her bone marrow yet her platelets are extremely low. They have given her packed platelets and the counts remain low. Sounds to me like she isn`t producing platelets. Are there any artificial substitutes that can be used as platelet substitutes to give her the amount of clotting protection she needs? Also are there any chemotherapy or other drugs that they might have her on that could be suppressing platelet production? She also has had radiation. Thank you.

Answer:

Currently a bone marrow stimulus for platelets is undergoing testing, but it is not available in this clinical situation. I cannot comment on what caused the low platelets although many chemotherapy drugs do this.

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Response by:

Eric H Kraut, MD Eric H Kraut, MD
Professor of Hematology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University