Dec 29, 2001
What are the different blood platelette levels and what can you do or take to raise a low level when you have HepC?
Response from Dr. Rodriguez-Torres
Platelets are cells that are present in the blood and are fundamental for the coagulation process. The platelets are produced in the bone marrow ,as well as the red blood and white blood cells.They are small and easily destroyed,and can get trapped in the blood vessels. When patients with HCV have advanced liver disease, they can have enlargement of the spleen (as well as in other diseases),and this consists of hundreds of miles of small vessels.The platelet take so long to go through the spleen that the amount in the periphery drops,.They are like trapped inside the spleen.There may be other problems of production of platalets,but mostly this is the cause of the decreased platelets in liver disease. The only thing we can do, is to treat the primary process in the liver in order to improve it's status and decrease the splenomegaly.Sometimes the problem may require platelet transfusions,or the injection of factors to promote marrow production,but only if the patient has active bleeding.
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