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Normal platelet count in the blood

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Normal platelet count in the blood
Last update: 24/03/2021

What is the normal count of platelets in the blood?

The normal count of platelets in the blood is age-dependent:

Adults: 150 - 400 x 103/µl (microliter)
Children: 150 - 400 x 103/µl (microliter)
Infant: 200 - 400 x 103/µl (microliter)
Babies up to 1 month: 200 - 450 x 103/µl (microliter)
Newborns: 100 - 470 x 103/µl (microliter)

Why normal levels can differ across different labs?

Each laboratory must establish its own normal ranges for the platelet count in the blood. These ranges depend on the makeup of the local population, the technologies used and the accuracy of the measurement. There may be also slight differences in the normal levels, according to age, gender, race or ethnic origin, geographic region, diet, type of sample and other relevant status.

Your doctor will study the results along with your medical record, screenings, physical condition, symptoms and any other relevant information about your situation.

In women, platelet counts normally decrease before menstruation and during pregnancy.

Sometimes it can appear a spurious low platelet count due EDTA induced aggregation of platelets. EDTA is the recommended anticoagulant of choice for hematological testing.

What is the role of platelets in the body?

Platelets are blood cells made in the bone marrow by precursor cells called megakaryocytes. Each megakaryocyte can produce between 1000 to 5000 platelets.

Platelets are produced at around 35.000 - 50.000 per microliter per day, but the production can be increased up to 4 times if necessary.

The main role of platelets is hemostasis, the process to stop bleeding when there is an injury. The hemostasis includes three steps:

  • Vascular phase: Constriction of the blood vessel.
  • Platelet phase: Formation of a platelet plug.
  • Coagulating phase: Activation of the coagulation cascade that lead to the formation of fibrin stabilized platelet aggregates and subsequent clot retraction.

Platelets (thrombocytes) are the smallest of the formed elements in the blood and they have no nucleus.

What is the platelet count used for?

Platelets have a lifespan of 8-10 days in the bloodstream. Normally, two thirds of all the body platelets are found in the circulating blood and one third in the spleen.

The platelet count is of value for assessing bleeding disorders that occur with thrombocytopenia, uremia, liver disease, or malignancies and for monitoring the course of disease associated with bone marrow failure. This test is indicated when the estimated platelet count appears abnormal and it is a routine blood test.

It is also part of a coagulation profile or workup and it is performed when there is spontaneous bleeding or coagulation disorders.

A low platelet count, called thrombocytopenia may be due to:

  • Destruction/consumption of platelets: Immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) or hemolytic–uremic syndrome (HUS).
  • Platelet decreases production: Aplastic anemia, medication use on chemotherapy or heparin intake.
  • Infection: Hepatitis C, mononucleosis, HIV, etc.

A high platelet count is called thrombocytosis and increases the risk of blood clots that can lead to certain conditions, such as stroke or heart attack.

The main causes for thrombocytosis are:

  • Primary: essential thrombocythemia.
  • Secondary: It can be a result of a reactive process to chronic inflammatory diseases (arthritis, ulcerative colitis, tuberculosis, etc.), iron deficiency anemia or an hemorrhage.

Where can I find more information about platelet count in the blood?

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Which values are considered a normal platelet count in the blood?

The following values are considered to be normal values:

IMPORTANT: These levels are expressed in number of thousands/µl (microliter). They are an example of a healthy white man/woman of about 45 years old with no known disease and not taking any medication. The ranges can be different depending on the laboratory or on your personal circumstances.

Platelets
Normality
150 x 103/µl151 x 103/µl152 x 103/µl153 x 103/µl154 x 103/µl155 x 103/µl156 x 103/µl157 x 103/µl
158 x 103/µl159 x 103/µl160 x 103/µl161 x 103/µl162 x 103/µl163 x 103/µl164 x 103/µl165 x 103/µl
166 x 103/µl167 x 103/µl168 x 103/µl169 x 103/µl170 x 103/µl171 x 103/µl172 x 103/µl173 x 103/µl
174 x 103/µl175 x 103/µl176 x 103/µl177 x 103/µl178 x 103/µl179 x 103/µl180 x 103/µl181 x 103/µl
182 x 103/µl183 x 103/µl184 x 103/µl185 x 103/µl186 x 103/µl187 x 103/µl188 x 103/µl189 x 103/µl
190 x 103/µl191 x 103/µl192 x 103/µl193 x 103/µl194 x 103/µl195 x 103/µl196 x 103/µl197 x 103/µl
198 x 103/µl199 x 103/µl200 x 103/µl201 x 103/µl202 x 103/µl203 x 103/µl204 x 103/µl205 x 103/µl
206 x 103/µl207 x 103/µl208 x 103/µl209 x 103/µl210 x 103/µl211 x 103/µl212 x 103/µl213 x 103/µl
214 x 103/µl215 x 103/µl216 x 103/µl217 x 103/µl218 x 103/µl219 x 103/µl220 x 103/µl221 x 103/µl
222 x 103/µl223 x 103/µl224 x 103/µl225 x 103/µl226 x 103/µl227 x 103/µl228 x 103/µl229 x 103/µl
230 x 103/µl231 x 103/µl232 x 103/µl233 x 103/µl234 x 103/µl235 x 103/µl236 x 103/µl237 x 103/µl
238 x 103/µl239 x 103/µl240 x 103/µl241 x 103/µl242 x 103/µl243 x 103/µl244 x 103/µl245 x 103/µl
246 x 103/µl247 x 103/µl248 x 103/µl249 x 103/µl250 x 103/µl251 x 103/µl252 x 103/µl253 x 103/µl
254 x 103/µl255 x 103/µl256 x 103/µl257 x 103/µl258 x 103/µl259 x 103/µl260 x 103/µl261 x 103/µl
262 x 103/µl263 x 103/µl264 x 103/µl265 x 103/µl266 x 103/µl267 x 103/µl268 x 103/µl269 x 103/µl
270 x 103/µl271 x 103/µl272 x 103/µl273 x 103/µl274 x 103/µl275 x 103/µl276 x 103/µl277 x 103/µl
278 x 103/µl279 x 103/µl280 x 103/µl281 x 103/µl282 x 103/µl283 x 103/µl284 x 103/µl285 x 103/µl
286 x 103/µl287 x 103/µl288 x 103/µl289 x 103/µl290 x 103/µl291 x 103/µl292 x 103/µl293 x 103/µl
294 x 103/µl295 x 103/µl296 x 103/µl297 x 103/µl298 x 103/µl299 x 103/µl300 x 103/µl301 x 103/µl
302 x 103/µl303 x 103/µl304 x 103/µl305 x 103/µl306 x 103/µl307 x 103/µl308 x 103/µl309 x 103/µl
310 x 103/µl311 x 103/µl312 x 103/µl313 x 103/µl314 x 103/µl315 x 103/µl316 x 103/µl317 x 103/µl
318 x 103/µl319 x 103/µl320 x 103/µl321 x 103/µl322 x 103/µl323 x 103/µl324 x 103/µl325 x 103/µl
326 x 103/µl327 x 103/µl328 x 103/µl329 x 103/µl330 x 103/µl331 x 103/µl332 x 103/µl333 x 103/µl
334 x 103/µl335 x 103/µl336 x 103/µl337 x 103/µl338 x 103/µl339 x 103/µl340 x 103/µl341 x 103/µl
342 x 103/µl343 x 103/µl344 x 103/µl345 x 103/µl346 x 103/µl347 x 103/µl348 x 103/µl349 x 103/µl
350 x 103/µl351 x 103/µl352 x 103/µl353 x 103/µl354 x 103/µl355 x 103/µl356 x 103/µl357 x 103/µl
358 x 103/µl359 x 103/µl360 x 103/µl361 x 103/µl362 x 103/µl363 x 103/µl364 x 103/µl365 x 103/µl
366 x 103/µl367 x 103/µl368 x 103/µl369 x 103/µl370 x 103/µl371 x 103/µl372 x 103/µl373 x 103/µl
374 x 103/µl375 x 103/µl376 x 103/µl377 x 103/µl378 x 103/µl379 x 103/µl380 x 103/µl381 x 103/µl
382 x 103/µl383 x 103/µl384 x 103/µl385 x 103/µl386 x 103/µl387 x 103/µl388 x 103/µl389 x 103/µl
390 x 103/µl391 x 103/µl392 x 103/µl393 x 103/µl394 x 103/µl395 x 103/µl396 x 103/µl397 x 103/µl
398 x 103/µl399 x 103/µl400 x 103/µl     
Medically reviewed by our Medical staff on 24/03/2021

Bibliography

  • Concise Book of Medical Laboratory Technology: Methods and Interpretations. 2nd Edition. 2015. Ramnik Sood. ISBN: 978-93-5152-333-8. Pag. 215.
  • Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE). Version 5.0.Published: November 27, 2017. U.S. Department of health and human Services. Disponible en: https://ctep.cancer.gov
  • Laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures with nursing diagnoses (8th ed), Jane Vincent Corbett, Angela Denise Banks, ISBN: 978-0-13-237332-6, Pag. 317.
  • A Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Test. 9th edition. Frances Fischbach. Marshall B. Dunning III. 2014. Pag 148. ISBN-10: 1451190891.

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