What is it?

Thrombocytosis refers to a condition which is characterized by overproduction of platelets. It could be either primary (essential thrombocytosis) or secondary to other causes. The cause for essential thrombocytosis is unclear, there has been found a gene in most of the people who have the disease. Secondary, or reactive thrombocytosis may develop due to bleeding, cancer, infection, iron deficiency, spleen removal, hemolytic anemia, inflammatory disorder or surgery. Complications of thrombocytosis that happen due to hypercoagulability may include strokes, heart attack, bone marrow problems including leukemia and pregnancy complications.

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Signs & symptoms

People with thrombocytosis may not have any symptoms. Symptoms of thrombocytosis may include headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, chest pain, and changes in sensation in the extremities, including numbness,tingling, redness and burning.


Diagnosis is based upon findings from medical history, physical examination, and a platelet count of over 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood. Further evaluation may include blood work,and a bone marrow aspiration or biopsy.


Treatment for essential thrombocytosidepends on the risk for blood clots or bleeding episodes. People under the age of 60 with no symptoms may only need periodic follow ups. Others may need to take medications such as hydroxyurea- to decrease the chances for developing leukemia, anagrelide and interferon alfa. In case of a medical emergency, plateletpheresis may be done. In case of reactive thrombocytosis, treatment depends on the underlying cause.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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