By | June 10, 2022

In the case of thrombocytosis, the platelets in the human blood are significantly increased for a short period of time. Thrombocytosis occurs, for example, as a reaction to blood loss or inflammation. The treatment depends on the cause in each individual case and can include the administration of ASA, for example.

What is thrombocytosis?

The platelets in human blood are also known as thrombocytes. Thrombocytes are formed by the pinching off of megakaryocytes in the bone marrow and have a stated lifespan of between five and twelve days. Old platelets are broken down within the spleen, liver and lungs. Platelets are equipped with enzymes of glycolysis. For hepatitis b dictionary definitions, please visit

They contain elements of the pentose phosphate cycle, the respiratory chain and the citric acid cycle. In addition, platelets can release what is known as arachidonic acid from their cell membrane. In the circulating blood there are only inactive thrombocytes, which are activated by surface contact. Activated thrombocytes release substances to stop bleeding and close an injury that has occurred through adhesion and aggregation.

A temporary increase in the number of platelets in human blood is known as thrombocytosis. The number of blood elements rises above 500,000/µl during thrombocytosis. Thrombocythemia, in which the blood platelets multiply over a long period of time, must be distinguished from thrombocytosis. Thrombocytosis, on the other hand, is a reversible increase that is limited in time.


The causes of thrombocytosis can be of various kinds. For example, a short-term increase in the number of thrombocytes can correspond to a reactive change in the blood count, such as occurs in the context of diseases of the hematopoietic system, after splenectomy, or after major blood loss. For this reason, patients after operations, for example, are often affected by the phenomenon.

However, the number of thrombocytes in the blood can also temporarily increase as part of infections or tumor diseases . Cytostatic chemotherapy, chronic iron deficiency and chronic inflammatory diseases can also result in temporary thrombocytosis.

Thrombocytosis in the context of myeloproliferative diseases must be distinguished from these causes. In these diseases there is an increased proliferation of the cells. We are talking about primary thrombocytosis or essential thrombocythemia, which results in a strong increase in platelets in the blood. In the case of causes such as severe blood loss, opinions differ on the question of how to deal with it.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

Patients with thrombocytosis show an increased concentration of platelets in their blood. Physiologically, the platelet count makes up a certain proportion of the volume of the blood. Typical values ​​are ten to the power of three/µl and ten to the power of nine/l. In patients with thrombocytosis, the values ​​are over 500,000/µl. An important feature of thrombocytosis is that it is only a temporary and mostly short-term increase in blood platelets.

This increase is itself a symptom and cannot be classified as a disease in the narrower sense. An extremely high blood platelet count can promote thrombosis, depending on the cause. The accompanying symptoms of thrombocytosis depend on the primary cause. If, for example, high blood loss has occurred, there can be a shock up to hemorrhagic fever. In such situations, thrombocytosis is a natural bodily reaction, with values ​​exceeding 1,000,000 per µl.

Diagnosis & course of disease

The diagnosis of thrombocytosis is made by laboratory diagnostics. In this context, a number of 500,000 platelets per centilitre of blood is a guideline for the diagnosis. The increase in blood platelets is usually attributed to a specific cause within the diagnostic process.

The cause can be clear after operations or accidents and then requires no further clarification. In less clear-cut cases, further causal clarification must be carried out, which may require extensive clinical examinations. Patient prognosis depends on the particular cause of the increase.


Thrombocytosis does not always have to lead to serious symptoms or severe complications. If the symptom only occurs for a short time, it usually does not need to be treated and there are no further problems. However, thrombocytosis can also lead to a strong fever and must be treated in this case.

In the case of long-lasting symptoms, a causal treatment of this disease is also necessary in order to avoid further symptoms and complications. This complaint can occur especially after an accident or after an operation and must be examined and treated. Since blood loss is usually stopped quickly after an accident, the symptoms of thrombocytosis disappear on their own.

Thrombocytosis can be treated with medication and usually occurs without complications. With the help of blood-thinning agents, the symptoms can be alleviated and limited relatively well. There are no other complications. The patient’s life expectancy is also not limited by the disease. In the case of internal bleeding, however, further surgical interventions are necessary to stop it.

When should you go to the doctor?

In the case of thrombocytosis, the person affected is dependent on treatment by a doctor in any case. This disease cannot heal itself, so a visit to a doctor is essential. If there is no treatment, the symptoms usually continue to worsen and there are considerable complications.

In most cases, thrombocytosis is detected during a blood test. A doctor should be consulted if the blood value exceeds the corresponding maximum value and should therefore be checked. However, this excess can only occur for a short time, so that a new test should usually be carried out to confirm the suspicion. Thrombocytosis can be detected by a general practitioner. A strong fever can also indicate thrombocytosis and should be examined by a doctor if it lasts a long time and does not go away on its own.

Thrombocytosis is treated by a general practitioner or an internist. The treatment itself depends on the exact cause of the disease.

Treatment & Therapy

A thrombocytosis is usually treated causally. This means that the primary cause of the increase in platelets is identified and, if possible, eliminated. If the cause cannot be eliminated, medicinal solutions are available to reduce the platelet count. However, in connection with certain causes, there is a controversial debate as to whether such an intervention makes sense at all.

Especially after large blood losses, many scientists consider the naturally reactive overproduction of platelets to be a phenomenon that does not require drug intervention. Other scientists also consider drug intervention to be necessary in these cases and, despite the blood loss, fear thrombosis as a possible complication of the increased platelet count.

In the case of drug intervention, the patient is usually administered ASA. This is acetylsalicylic acid, which is a widely used analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antipyretic drug. In addition, ASA can become active as an antiplatelet agent. ASA lowers the risk of thrombosis by developing a blood-thinning effect.

However, the administration is counterproductive in the case of internal bleeding, for example, since dilution of the blood in this context could contribute to the patient bleeding to death. For this reason, the active substance is not administered after accidents in most cases. In the case of thrombocytosis of other causes, however, treatment with AAS is one of the most common therapeutic steps.


Thrombocytosis can have many causes. They can only be prevented to the extent that their causes can be prevented. For example, all preventive steps in relation to high blood loss and inflammatory phenomena are considered preventive measures. Since chronic iron deficiency also increases the number of platelets in the blood, taking enough iron is also a preventive measure.


In the case of thrombocytosis, there are usually only a few and usually only limited follow-up measures available. The affected person should therefore consult a doctor as soon as the first symptoms of this disease appear, so that complications or other symptoms do not arise as the disease progresses. Early diagnosis and subsequent treatment usually have a very positive effect on the further course of the disease.

In most cases, the thrombocytosis leads to various malformations in the child, so that it is dependent on intensive care in its everyday life. As a rule, thrombocytosis cannot be treated during pregnancy, so that the various malformations and malformations can only be corrected after the birth of the child.

Most of those affected are usually dependent on a surgical procedure, which can alleviate the symptoms. The earlier this intervention takes place, the better the further course. After such a procedure, you should refrain from exertion or from stressful and physical activities. As a rule, this disease does not reduce the life expectancy of the affected person.

You can do that yourself

Thrombocytosis usually does not require treatment. The number of platelets in the blood is usually only slightly increased and there are no symptoms. Treatment is needed when the platelet count is severely elevated, as this can disrupt blood circulation. In addition, the cause of the thrombocytosis must be clarified. The patient can contribute to this by informing the doctor about previous illnesses and risk factors.

If the symptoms occur after acute bleeding or an operation, the doctor must be consulted. Self-treatment is also not recommended for severe infections. It is important to address the trigger before treating the symptoms long-term. Patients suffering from rheumatic diseases or chronic inflammatory bowel disease should consult their doctor. Self-treatment does not make sense in this case either.

In addition, various general measures are useful. Because platelet imbalance can lead to fatigue, rest and rest are important. The patient should go to sleep if there is a headache or dizziness. Cooling pads help with heavy nosebleeds. Night sweats are best eliminated by having an optimally air-conditioned bedroom. Exercise and massage help with calf cramps. Bleeding gums and visual disturbances should be treated by a doctor.