10 Most Common Thrombocytopenia Causes in Adults

thrombocytopenia causes

Thrombocytopenia, also known as thrombopenia is a blood disorder where there is a relative reduction in the number of platelets (thrombocytes) present in the blood circulatory system. It is a lowered count of the platelets in the blood. Platelets have an important role in blood clotting. They are formed in the bone marrow just like the other cells found in the blood. Megakaryocytes is where they originate from; these are large cells found in the bone marrow. The fragments of these megakaryocytes are the platelets that gets released to the blood. The circulating platelets in the blood stream make up two third of the total platelets released from the body’s bone marrow. Those that are stored in the spleen constitutes the remaining ones. Platelets have a lifespan of 7 to 10 days in the blood, after which they are eliminated from blood circulation. Their number in the blood tissue is termed as the ‘platelet count’ and normally ranges from 150,000 to 450,000 per one millionth of a litre of blood. Furthermore, a platelet count of less than 150,000 is referred to as thrombocytopenia while an amount greater than 450,000 is termed as thrombocytosis.

It will be a really horrible situation to experience sudden and uncontrolled gushing out of blood from the nose, gums and other openings of the body. And sadly, it could happen with a really low platelet count. Before that happens, better manage it immediately. This may usually be a costly endeavor but there are affordable options such as all-natural remedies you can learn from money back guaranteed materials like Conquer Low Platelets.

Injury to any blood vessel results in production of chemicals that activate the platelets. When activated, they become sticky and start adhering to one another as well as to the blood vessel walls at the surface of the injured vessel, in order to slow down and consequently, stop the bleeding. They do this by plugging up the damaged blood vessels or tissues through a process called haemostasis. It is therefore, evident that a low platelet count will result in spontaneous bleeding as an effect of the delay in the normal process of clotting. However, mild thrombocytopenia does not display adverse effects on the clotting pathways.


Thrombocytopenia Causes in Adults

Thrombocytopenia or low platelet counts may be as a result of a variety of reasons. The causes of the blood disorder could be generally divided into three classes. Thrombocytopenia may be caused either by an increase in the destruction or consumption of platelets, increased splenic sequestration (that is, capturing of circulating platelets in the spleen), or through a decrease in the platelet production. An increase in the number of platelets destroyed or consumed may be seen in a number of medicinal settings. These conditions may either be immune related or non-immune related pharmaceutical cause. Immune related medicinal causes may result in low platelet count by triggering reactions on immune functions to go against normal blood platelets. This is called drug-induced thrombocytopenia.

Decreased production of platelets is usually a problem associated to bone marrow functionality. In some conditions, the red blood cells and white blood cells production may as well be adversely affected. The ten most common thrombocytopenia causes in adults include: Sulphonamide antibiotics, Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), Splenic sequestration, Plastic anaemia, Cancer, Immune thrombocytopenia, medication and bacterial infection in the blood.

1. Sulphonamide antibiotics

These antibiotics will lead to the destruction of platelets by reacting against them. They include carbamazepine, digoxin (Lanoxin), quinine (Quinerva, Quinite, QM-260), quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex), acetaminophen (Tylenol and others), and rifampin.

2. Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)

This is a condition where the body’s defence system attacks the platelets. ITP can lead to very low platelet counts, often a chronic condition in adults that stands prolonged whereas, in children it can acutely come about after a viral infection.

3. Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP)

When small blood clots suddenly form throughout the body, this condition is mostly triggered. This uses large numbers of platelets, greater that what is necessary. TTP can cause non-immune consumptive thrombocytopenia caused by infections, pregnancy, metastatic cancers, and chemotherapy. Other manifestations of the conditions are kidney insufficiency, haemolytic anaemia, and fever.

4. Haemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS)

This disorder causes a sharp drop in platelets, destroys the red blood cells and impairs the functionality of the kidneys. In rare cases, it occurs after being infected with a bacterial Escherichia coli (E. coli), acquired by eating undercooked meat.

5. Splenic sequestration

Splenic sequestration can lead to low platelet counts by enlarging or changing the function of the spleen for various reasons. An enlarged spleen can retain more than the usual levels of platelets. Causes of thrombocytopenia resulting from splenic enlargement include advanced liver diseases with portal hypertension and blood cancers.

6. Aplastic anaemia

Aplastic anaemia is a term used to identify a situation in which the bone marrow fails to form any blood cells because of damage. This results to pancytopenia, which is to imply that the red cells, white cells, and the platelets are deficient. This could be a result of viral infections, medications or radiation. Chemotherapy drugs cause bone marrow suppression that usually results in thrombocytopenia. Some other drugs, such as thiazide diuretics can also suppress platelet production.

7. Cancer

Cancers of the bone marrow and blood or cancers of the lymph nodes will also result in various levels of thrombocytopenia. Cancers from other body organs will in some cases infiltrate the bone marrow resulting in reduced production of blood platelets.

8. Immune thrombocytopenia

This is caused by autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. The immune system of the body mistakenly attacks normal cells, destroying the blood platelets, usually by a known cause. It is similar to the Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP); only that the cause of the attack in ITP is not always known.

9. Medication

Certain medications will reduce the levels of platelets in the blood. Some drugs when introduced into the body confuse the immune system as harmful materials and cause it to destroy the blood platelets. Examples of these medications include heparin, anticonvulsants, quinine, and sulpha-containing antibiotics.

10. Bacterial infection in the blood

Severe levels of bacterial infections in the blood also known as bacteraemia will also lead to the destruction of platelets. The bacteria will feed on the blood cells including platelets, which will then consequently lead to their reduced volume.

Thrombocytopenia as a blood disorder, can be inherited from parents, or may be caused by a number of medical issues or conditions. Whichever the cause of the disorder, the number of circulating platelets can be greatly reduced. Due to the role played by the platelets in the body, the entire system is greatly affected; especially the blood clotting process which requires adequate numbers of platelets. To summarize, reduced number of platelets are caused by trapping of the platelets in the enlarged spleen, increased destruction of platelets, and decreased platelet production by the bone marrow.


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