Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Thrombocytopenia is defined as a platelet count under 150x109/litre. It may be found as a bystander to other pathology or directly related to an underlying haematological condition. Apart from laboratory artefact, it should be treated seriously as it often reflects serious underlying disease. This review uses short case histories to illustrate how to approach thrombocytopenia during the initial presentation of an adult patient to hospital. This article guides the general hospital physician through the narrow but potentially confusing differential diagnoses related to thrombocytopenia, with particular focus on immune thrombocytopenia, disseminated intravascular coagulation and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Thrombocytopenia in pregnancy deserves special consideration and will not be discussed in this article.

Original publication




Conference paper

Publication Date





507 - 512


Acute Disease, Diagnosis, Differential, Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation, Fibrin Fibrinogen Degradation Products, Fibrinogen, Humans, International Normalized Ratio, Partial Thromboplastin Time, Platelet Transfusion, Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic, Purpura, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic, Thrombocytopenia