Also called: Thrombocyte disorders
Platelets are little pieces of blood cells. Platelets help wounds heal and prevent bleeding by forming blood clots. Your bone marrow makes platelets. Problems can result from having too few or too many platelets, or from platelets that do not work properly.
If your blood has a low number of platelets, it is called thrombocytopenia. This can put you at risk for mild to serious bleeding. If your blood has too many platelets, you may have a higher risk of blood clots. With other platelet disorders, the platelets do not work as they should. For example, in von Willebrand Disease, the platelets cannot stick together or cannot attach to blood vessel walls. This can cause excessive bleeding.
Treatment of platelet disorders depends on the cause.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Essential thrombocythemia is a condition characterized by an increased number of platelets (thrombocythemia). Platelets (thrombocytes) are blood cell fragments involved in blood clotting. While some people with this condition have no symptoms, others develop problems associated with the excess platelets.Abnormal blood clotting (thrombosis) is common in people with essential thrombocythemia and causes many signs and symptoms of this condition. Clots that block blood flow to the brain can cause strokes or temporary stroke-like episodes known as transient ischemic attacks. Thrombosis in the legs can cause leg pain, swelling, or both. In addition, clots can travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism), blocking blood flow in the lungs and causing chest pain and difficulty breathing (dyspnea).Another problem in essential thrombocythemia is abnormal bleeding, which occurs more often in people with a very high number of platelets. Affected people may have nosebleeds, bleeding gums, or bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. It is thought that bleeding occurs because a specific protein in the blood that helps with clotting is reduced, although why the protein is reduced is unclear.Other signs and symptoms of essential thrombocythemia include an enlarged spleen (splenomegaly); weakness; headaches; or a sensation in the skin of burning, tingling, or prickling. Some people with essential thrombocythemia have episodes of severe pain, redness, and swelling (erythromelalgia), which commonly occur in the hands and feet.