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What do high platelet levels mean?

Discussion in 'Diagnostic Guidelines and Laboratory Testing' started by Woolie, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

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    Hi, I've just come back from a visit to a Rheumatologist. Having braced myself for the usual invalidating response, he said immediately that there were some very strange things in my blood that he wanted to get to the bottom of. He said I had very high platelet levels in particular and that there were a sign of ongoing immune activity, and not characteristic of ME.

    He said there were no indicators of autoimmune illness - the features were sort of the opposite of what he sees in RA, MS - but has referred me to an infectious diseases person.

    I looked here on PR, and most posters mention low, not high platelets. Anyone know what high platelets might mean?
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
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  2. A.B.

    A.B. Senior Member

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    Do you have the results? High platelets is unspecific and the other results might allow a more accurate interpretation.
     
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  3. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

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    High platelet counts occur in the context of inflammatory disease like RA and also in the context of low level gastrointestinal bleeding. As A.B. says a high platelet count on its own is a bit of a red flag but very non-specific.
     
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  4. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    Anemia?
     
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  5. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

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    Thanks for your replies, everyone.

    Yea, I sort of suspected the high platelets were a fairly non-specific sign. But of course, its hard not to put a lot of store in it, when its the first real validation in 27 years.
     
  6. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

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    I have never asked for results. How does one do this without compromising one's relationship with the specialist?
     
  7. Hutan

    Hutan Senior Member

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    In the places I have lived in, patients have the legal right to get copies of their test results. I make sure I get copies of everything now and keep a summary record that some doctors have found useful to look at. Some places have centralised online repositories for test results and patients have the right to access their own results.

    Any doctor should be willing to provide copies and should not be surprised or affronted if you ask for them. If they are, that's a red flag.
     
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  8. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    When the specialist says you have high platelets, you can ask, "How high?" Then ask, "What is the normal range?" I can't imagine any doctor being offended by this.
     
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  9. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    Sometimes lab tests come back just wrong, esp. if you get a reading that's just out of the blue without any other symptoms.

    Simply put, platelets help to clot your blood; too few and you bleed too much, too many and your blood clots too rapidly. IRL the situation is much more complex because platelets are responsive to inflammation and infection, among other things.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platelet
     
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  10. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

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    Apparently, the finding in my case is consistent across time.

    Thanks, @Hutan, I will find out what I can!
     
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  11. wastwater

    wastwater Senior Member

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    I have low platelet count but thick blood
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
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  12. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

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    Okay, my platetet counts are very consistent - 496 to 500 across a period of two years (I presume these are thousands). That is apparently formally thrombocytosis, but not the highest it could be.
     
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  13. CFS_for_19_years

    CFS_for_19_years Hoarder of biscuits

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    Platelet counts are generated by a machine with a variability of less than 5%. As a quality control measure, platelet counts are checked against a blood smear that is stained and examined under the microscope at high power. When I was doing a lot of platelet counts, I could estimate the true platelet count to within 10-15% by looking at the blood smear.
    Yes, those are thousands per microliter and your platelets are high. Depending on which lab is doing the reporting, upper levels of normal could be 400,000 to 500,000, but it's usually around 450,000.

    This might be helpful:
    https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/thrombocytosis

     
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  14. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

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    Thanks, @CFS_for_19_years, and everyone who's commented. Its really nice to have your input and advice.

    I'm a complete idiot about anything outside the CNS.
     
  15. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    I get the results either from the lab or thru my doc. It's automatic. I've never had a problem getting results nor discussing them. I live in California; perhaps it's different where you are.
     
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  16. kangaSue

    kangaSue Senior Member

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    You're the customer paying for the service and should be entitled to a copy of the results. If it's through a public hospital, you should be able apply for a copy of any test results through the Records Dept.

    It's best if you have your own copy of everything, very convenient for giving an underperforming doctor the flick and getting a new one up to speed quickly on what has already been done.
     
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  17. Paralee

    Paralee Senior Member

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    You're his boss, he's your employee, you just need your reports, right?;)

    When I'm filling out my records request, they want to know what for on the form, I just check "other" and fill in
    "file cabinet".
     
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  18. Woolie

    Woolie Senior Member

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    Thanks, @Paralee. I got them!

    It turned out to be easy. All results are posted on an online repository, which all patients have access to. Everything is there going back 3 years!

    I was a little surprised, as there seemed to be lots of things wrong that no-one had ever pointed out to me.
    • Raised C reactive protein levels (ranging from 9-16 across different times periods)
    • Consistently raised platelet counts
    • Low levels of IgG3 (tested once only)
    • Raised levels TD4 and TD8 Cells, elevated TD4/TD8 ratio (tested once only)
    • On some occasions, raised lymphocytes, raised overall white blood cell counts, raised monocytes and raised neutrophils
    I'm not sure what to make of all this, anyone have any thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
  19. Valentijn

    Valentijn Senior Member

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    This is treatable and routinely treated if there's also problems with recurring infections, allergies, or other immune reactions. IgG is created by B cells, apparently. IgG3 also interacts with platelets, though I really don't understand how.
     
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  20. Paralee

    Paralee Senior Member

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    @Woolie, great! It's all in how you look at it, although it takes some courage sometimes.
    (Also, I didn't read back very far looking, but what kind of doc was that?)

    And @Valentijn gave you a good start for research!
     
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