Thrombocytopenia (or thrombopenia) is a fall in the blood platelet count to under 150,000 per cubic millimetre of blood.
Causes of thrombocytopenia
Blood platelets (or thrombocytes) may fall because of a fall in the production of these cells by the bone marrow or because thrombocytes which have already been formed are removed more quickly (by degradation, loss, etc.).
Causes may be immunological, infectious or cancer-related.
Risks of thrombocytopenia
A fall in the platelet count may have serious consequences as it increases the risk of bleeding.
Treatment of thrombocytopenia
Thrombocytopenia may be mild and transient and not require treatment. The solution for more serious cases is to give platelet transfusions although the cause must also be identified and treated.
The thrombocyte, or blood platelet, is a small cell (in the centre here). © Public domain