Platelets are blood particles produced in the bone marrow that play an important role in the process of blood clot formation. thrombocytosis (thro-boe-sie-toe-sis) is a disorder in which your body makes too many platelets.
It is called reactive thrombocytosis or secondary thrombocytosis when the cause is an underlying condition, such as an infection.
Less commonly, when thrombocytosis has no apparent underlying condition as a cause, the disorder is called primary thrombocythemia or essential thrombocythemia. this is a disease of the blood and bone marrow.
Your doctor may detect thrombocytosis in a routine blood test that shows a high level of platelets. If your blood test indicates thrombocytosis, it’s important to determine whether it’s reactive thrombocytosis or essential thrombocythemia so you know how to manage the condition.
People with thrombocytosis often have no signs or symptoms. the signs and symptoms of reactive thrombocytosis, if they occur, are related to the underlying condition.
People with essential thrombocythemia may have signs and symptoms related to blood clots and bleeding, including:
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- chest pain
- numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
- sharp bleeding and blood loss
- iron deficiency
- removal of your spleen
- hemolytic anemia: a type of anemia in which the body destroys red blood cells faster than it makes them, often due to certain blood diseases or autoimmune disorders
- inflammatory disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis, or inflammatory bowel disease
- surgery or other type of trauma
when to see a doctor
Since thrombocytosis is unlikely to cause symptoms, you probably won’t know you have it unless a routine blood test reveals a higher than normal number of platelets. if that happens, your doctor will try to determine why.
Bone marrow (spongy tissue inside bones) contains stem cells that can develop into red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. platelets stick together, which helps the blood form a clot that stops bleeding when a blood vessel is damaged, such as when it is cut. thrombocytosis occurs when your body makes too many platelets.
This is the most common type of thrombocytosis. is caused by an underlying medical problem, such as:
The cause of this disorder is unclear, but it often appears to be related to mutations in a variety of genes. your bone marrow makes too many cells that make platelets, and these platelets are often abnormal. this carries a much higher risk of bleeding or clotting complications than reactive thrombocytosis.