Thrombocytopenia: an update

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Abstract

Thrombocytopenia is a common clinical problem with numerous potential causes including decreased bone marrow platelet production, increased peripheral platelet destruction, increased splenic sequestration, and dilution. Investigation of the etiology of thrombocytopenia requires careful consideration of clinical history and laboratory features. A complete blood count and peripheral smear review are essential components of the diagnostic work-up, and physicians should be knowledgeable about appropriate selection and interpretation of more specialized tests, including bone marrow examination, to assist with diagnosis. This review article aims to summarize and address appropriate work-up of the major and/or life-threatening causes of thrombocytopenia and some of the better-characterized congenital thrombocytopenias.

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