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The information contained on this page is provided as general health information and is not intended to substitute as medical advice and direction from your physician or health care provider. Please direct any questions related to your health care provider. In an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency center.


Acquired platelet function defect

Definition

Acquired platelet function defects are conditions that prevent clotting elements in the blood called platelets from working as they should. The term acquired means these conditions are not present at birth.

Alternative Names

Acquired qualitative platelet disorders; Acquired disorders of platelet function

Causes

Platelet disorders can affect the number of platelets, how well they function, or both. A platelet disorder affects normal blood clotting.

Disorders that can cause problems in platelet function include:

Other causes include:

  • Kidney (renal) failure
  • Medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, other anti-inflammatory drugs, penicillin, phenothiazines, and prednisone (after long-term use)

Symptoms

Symptoms may include any of the following:

Exams and Tests

Tests that may done include:

Treatment

Treatment is aimed at fixing 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.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Most of the time, treating the cause of the problem corrects the defect.

Possible Complications

Complications may include:

  • Bleeding that does not stop easily
  • Anemia (due to excessive bleeding)

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if:

  • You have bleeding and do not know the cause
  • Your symptoms get worse
  • Your symptoms do not improve after you are treated for an acquired platelet function defect

Prevention

Using medicines as directed can reduce the risk of drug-related acquired platelet function defects. Treating other disorders may also reduce the risk. Some cases cannot be prevented.

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Blood clot formationBlood clots

References

Diz-Kucukkaya R, Lopez JA. Acquired disorders of platelet function. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ Jr, Silberstein LE, Heslop HE, Weitz JI, Anastasi JI, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 132.

Hall JE. Hemostasis and blood coagulation. In: Hall JE, ed. Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 37.

Jobe S, Di Paola J. Congenital and acquired disorders of platelet function and number. In: Kitchens CS, Kessler CM, Konkle BA, eds. Consultative Hemostasis and Thrombosis. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 10.