Acquired Platelet Function Disorder – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment
What is acquired platelet function disorder?
Platelet function disorder is a condition that occurs when your platelets don’t function the way they should be. Acquired platelet function disorder refers to this condition not being present at birth, but acquired later by various means. Platelets are small blood cells that help form blood clots to stop bleeding.
What causes acquired platelet function disorder?
Acquired platelet function disorders are mainly caused by certain diseases, medications, or foods. This disorder can affect the number of platelets, how well they function, or both. An acquired platelet function disorder affects normal blood clotting.
The following diseases can cause acquired platelet function disorder:
- Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (bleeding disorder caused by overactive immune system)
- Chronic myelogenous leukemia (blood cancer that begins in bone marrow)
- Multiple myeloma (blood cancer that begins in the plasma cells in the bone marrow)
- Primary myelofibrosis (bone marrow disorder in which the marrow is replaced by fibrous scar tissue)
- Polycythemia vera (abnormal increase in the number of blood cells)
- Primary thrombocythemia (bone marrow produces too many platelets)
- Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (formation of blood clots in small blood vessels)
- Kidney failure
- Liver failure
The following are some of the medications that can affect the functioning of platelets:
- Asthma medications
- Chemotherapy drugs
The following are some of the foods and supplements that can cause problems in functioning of platelets:
- Dong Quai
- Vitamin E
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Ginkgo biloba
What are the symptoms of acquired platelet function disorder?
Acquired platelet function disorder can cause one or more of the following symptoms:
- Blood in the urine
- Bleeding under the skin or into the muscles
- Bruising easily or pinpoint red spots on the skin
- Gastrointestinal bleeding resulting in bloody, dark black, or tarry bowel movements; or vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Heavy menstrual periods or prolonged bleeding (more than five days each period)
How is acquired platelet function disorder diagnosed?
Diagnosis of acquired platelet function disorder is a complex process. The doctor will review your symptoms, medical history including bleeding disorders, medications, supplements, and foods.
The doctor may order the following tests for diagnosis of acquired platelet function disorder:
- Complete blood count
- Platelet count
- Prothrombin time (PT). This test shows how fast your blood clots
- Partial thromboplastin time (PTT). This test also checks how fast your blood clots
- Platelet aggregation test
How is acquired platelet function disorder treated?
Various treatment options are available for acquired platelet function disorder. Treatments include medications to control bleeding and reduce your risk of bleeding during surgeries. The doctor will also treat the underlying condition that is causing problems with the functioning of your platelets.
The doctor may choose one or more of the following treatments depending on the cause of the problem:
- Bone marrow disorders are often treated with platelet transfusions or removing platelets from the blood (platelet pheresis).
- Chemotherapy may be used to treat an underlying condition that is causing the problem.
- Platelet function defects caused by kidney failure are treated with dialysis or medicines.
- Platelet problems caused by a certain medicine are treated by stopping the drug.
This feature is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute the expert guidance of a doctor. We advise seeing a doctor if you have any health concerns.