Quebec Platelet Disorder: Update on Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Treatment


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Abstract

Quebec platelet disorder (QPD) is an autosomal dominant bleeding disorder associated with reduced platelet counts and a unique gain-of-function defect in fibrinolysis due to increased expression and storage of urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) by megakaryocytes. QPD increases risks for bleeding and its key clinical feature is delayed-onset bleeding, following surgery, dental procedures or trauma, which responds only to treatment with fibrinolytic inhibitors. The genetic cause of the disorder is a tandem duplication mutation of the uPA gene, PLAU, which upregulates uPA expression in megakaryocytes by an unknown mechanism. The increased platelet stores of uPA trigger plasmin-mediated degradation of QPD α-granule proteins. The gain-of-function defect in fibrinolysis is thought to be central to the pathogenesis of QPD bleeding as the activation of QPD platelets leads to release of uPA from α-granules and accelerated clot lysis. The purpose of this review is to summarize current knowledge on QPD pathogenesis and the recommended approaches to QPD diagnosis and treatment.

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