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Acquired platelet function defect
Alternative namesAcquired qualitative platelet disorders; Acquired disorders of platelet function
DefinitionAcquired platelet function defects are non-hereditary diseases or associated conditions that cause the platelets (the blood cells essential for coagulation) to not function properly.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Platelets are blood cells that are essential for blood clotting. Platelet disorders can include inappropriate number of platelets (too many or too few), or normal number but inappropriate functioning of the platelets. Any platelet disorder affects blood clotting.
Disorders of platelet function can be caused by congenital diseases or acquired conditions. Acquired platelet function disorders are disorders of inappropriate platelet function, and that develop as a result of another disease or condition (acquired). In many cases, the platelet count may be normal or even elevated, but evidence of a bleeding disorder will be present. Myeloproliferative disorders such as primary thrombocytopenia , polycythemia vera , chronic myelogenous leukemia , and myelofibrosis can produce abnormalities in platelet function.
Other causes include renal failure , multiple myeloma , and medications such as aspirin and other anti-inflammatory medications, penicillins, phenothiazines, and prednisone (prolonged use).
Signs and tests
TreatmentTreatment is directed at the cause of the abnormality. Dialysis reduces the bleeding tendency if the cause is renal failure . Platelet transfusions or plateletpheresis (removal of platelets from the blood and replacement with donated platelets) may be indicated in myeloproliferative disorders . Medication-induced platelet abnormalities require discontinuation of the medication.
Expectations (prognosis)Treatment of the cause of the abnormality usually corrects the defect.
Calling your health care provider
PreventionCare in the use of medications can reduce the risk of drug-related acquired platelet function defects. Treatment of other disorders may also reduce risk. Some cases are not preventable.
Update Date: 8/18/2003Corey Cutler, M.D., M.P.H., F.R.C.P.C, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Instructor in Medicine, Harvard University, Boston, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT