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Old 04-29-2010, 03:48 PM   #1
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fathers blood platlets were low for almost two weeks

my father was in a motorcycle wreck 18 years ago he can not walk or talk and two weeks ago he went into the hospital because he had the red spots on his body his blood platlets were ranging from 3-4 then one day they were 6 and dropped back down today they were going to do a bone marrow biopsy and his blood platlets came up to 11 on their own I just do not understand why they would be so low then come back up on their own they have done tests to see if he had leukemia or lymphoma but both were negative. Does anyone have any feedback on what may be going on?

 
Old 04-29-2010, 08:55 PM   #2
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Re: fathers blood platlets were low for almost two weeks

A change in platelet count from 3 to 11 isn't a significant change. It's still too low. A count above 30 is considered a "safe" count that doesn't carry major risk of prolonged or heavy bleeding. Many people who can reach and sustain a count of 30 or higher need no treatment at all.

It's good that leukemia and lymphoma have been ruled out. He may have the disorder that I have, known as ITP - immune thrombocytopenia. It's caused by auto-antibodies which attach to the platelets. The spleen recognizes these mutant platelets as an enemy substance, kills and filters them out. There a lot of different treatments, which is a good thing because none of them works for everyone; but most have some significant side effects. Like most autoimmune disorders, the cause is unknown.

Prednisone (or other steroid) is usually the first-line treatment that is almost sure to boost the platelet count. IVIg works in the short term when platelets need a quick boost, so that surgery can be performed for example. For those who get no effect from steroids, there are several heavy-duty drugs that can be tried.

At this early stage, if any MD recommends surgical removal of his spleen, before any of these pharmaceutical methods are given a chance, he should refuse. Splenectomy used to be the first-line treatment, but it no longer is. Nowadays, it's reserved as a last resort for those who don't respond to any of the drug treatments, but many MDs have mistaken ideas about ITP and the way it's now treated.

Hope your dad is better soon.

 
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