Prospective, observational study of outcomes in neonates with severe thrombocytopenia.
Stanworth SJ., Clarke P., Watts T., Ballard S., Choo L., Morris T., Murphy MF., Roberts I., Platelets and Neonatal Transfusion Study Group None.
OBJECTIVE: A cross-sectional, observational study of outcomes for neonates with severe neonatal thrombocytopenia (SNT; platelet count of <60 x 10(9) platelets per L) was performed to examine hemorrhage and use of platelet transfusions. METHODS: Neonates who were admitted to 7 NICUs and developed SNT were enrolled for daily data collection. RESULTS: Among 3652 neonatal admissions, 194 neonates (5%) developed SNT. The median gestational age of 169 enrolled neonates was 27 weeks (interquartile range [IQR]: 24-32 weeks), and the median birth weight was 822 g (IQR: 670-1300 g). Platelet count nadirs were <20 x 10(9), 20 to 39 x 10(9), and 40 to 59 x 10(9) platelets per L for 58 (34%), 64 (39%), and 47 (28%) of all enrolled infants, respectively. During the study, 31 infants (18%) had no recorded hemorrhage, 123 (73%) developed minor hemorrhage, and 15 (9%) developed major hemorrhage. Thirteen (87%) of 15 episodes of major hemorrhage occurred in neonates with gestational ages of <28 weeks. Platelet transfusions (n = 415) were administered to 116 infants (69%); for 338 (81%) transfusions, the main recorded reason was low platelet count. Transfusions increased the platelet count from a median of 27 x 10(9) platelets per L (IQR: 19-36 x 10(9) platelets per L) to 79 x 10(9) platelets per L (IQR: 47.5-127 x 10(9) platelets per L). CONCLUSIONS: Although one third of neonates enrolled in this study developed thrombocytopenia of <20 x 10(9) platelets per L, 91% did not develop major hemorrhage. Most platelet transfusions were given to neonates with thrombocytopenia with no bleeding or minor bleeding only.