What Is an Acquired
Platelet Function Disorder?
are a type of blood cell. They play an important role in healing injuries that
result in bleeding. Platelets help your body to form blood clots and stop
people’s platelets don’t function the way they should. This is known as a
platelet function disorder. Such disorders may be inherited, but they can also
be “acquired.” Acquired platelet function disorders may be caused by
medications, diseases, or even certain foods. They are some of the most common
types of blood disorders.
What Are the Symptoms of
Acquired Platelet Function Disorder?
of these disorders vary. They can be either mild or severe. They can include:
- unexplained bruising throughout the body
- bleeding from your nose, mouth, or gums
- heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding
- bleeding under your skin
- bleeding into your muscles and joints
- blood in your vomit or feces
- internal bleeding
- small red bumps on your skin (petechiae)
What Are Platelets and What
Do They Do?
work with proteins known as clotting factors to help the body stop bleeding
after an injury. When a blood vessel is damaged, platelets are the first on the
scene. They cover the injured spot in layers to block the flow of blood.
Eventually they form a temporary plug. This is the first stage of blood
clotting. Later stages strengthen the clot and the body gets ready to heal.
someone has a platelet disorder, the plug doesn’t form properly. Bleeding may
go on longer than it should. Platelet disorders can also affect later stages of
clotting. This can be particularly dangerous after an injury or surgery.
What Causes Acquired
Platelet Function Disorders?
function disorders have three main causes — medications, diseases, and foods.
They can also be caused by supplements.
function can be affected in different ways. There may be changes in how the
body signals to platelets. Platelets can become less sticky. Platelet disease
can also affect other stages of the clotting process.
don’t always understand why or how platelet function is affected. However, they
can still see the changes that occur. Some things that are known to affect
- pain relievers such as ibuprofen and naproxen
- asthma medications
- sildenafil (Viagra)
- drugs used to prevent blood clots, such as clopidogrel
- antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs
- chemotherapy drugs
- cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins)
- calcium channel blockers
- nitrites in foods, such as lunch meat and bacon
- omega-3 fatty acids (like fish oil)
- vitamin E
- ginkgo biloba
- dong quai
- willow bark
- chronic myeloproliferative disorders
- myelodysplastic syndrome
- acquired von Willebrand disease
- autoimmune responses
- thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura-hemolytic uremic
- liver failure
- kidney failure
- disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)
- heart disease
Foods and Dietary Supplements
How Is Acquired Platelet
Function Disorder Diagnosed?
a platelet problem takes several steps. Your doctor will ask you about bleeding
problems. They will also ask about any medications and supplements you take. It’s
important to be honest as even natural products can affect your platelet
tests can also be used to look for bleeding problems. These tests look for
- A complete
blood count (CBC) details the number of blood cells by type. It
tells your doctor if you have healthy numbers of red blood cells, white blood
cells, and platelets. It also checks if your blood cells are found in the right
- Prothrombin time (PT) shows how
fast your blood clots.
- Partial thromboplastin time
another test of blood clotting time.
- Bleeding time studies test how long it
takes for you to stop bleeding after an injury.
- Platelet aggregation
studies check how sticky your platelets are.
- Platelet counts count your
- The blood
urea nitrogen (BUN)/creatinine test evaluates kidney function.
doctor may also test you for underlying conditions that can cause platelet
How Is Acquired Platelet
Function Disorder Treated?
are a number of treatments for this condition. Your doctor’s choice of
treatment will depend on whether they want to:
- quickly stop you from bleeding
- treat the condition that is causing your clotting problem
- reduce your risk of bleeding during surgery
have several options to stop active bleeding. They can give you an infusion of
donated platelets. They can prescribe a clotting factor to make it easier for
your blood to clot. Sometimes a drug called desmopressin (DDAVP) is also used.
It tells your body to release any hidden stores of clotting factor. This gives
you a quick, but short-term, boost in clotting ability.
Treating Underlying Conditions
you are not actively bleeding, your doctor will want to try to prevent future
bleeds. This means they have to fix whatever is causing your clotting problem.
That may be easy, if it just means stopping a supplement or medication.
However, it can also require diagnosing and treating an underlying illness.
Sometimes, treating the cause of the platelet disorder isn’t possible. In those
cases, your doctor may focus on managing your symptoms.
Reducing Bleeding Risks Before Surgery
you have a platelet disorder, talk to your doctor before you have surgery. There
are ways to minimize your bleeding risk. Your doctor might try to boost your
natural clotting factors and platelets with medication. In severe cases, you
might also need an infusion of platelets before, during, and/or after surgery.
You should also avoid taking aspirin or other over-the-counter medications that
can increase bleeding risk.
What Is the Outlook for
Acquired Platelet Disorders?
platelet problems are easily solved. You may just need to avoid a certain food
or switch to a different drug. Other times, control can be more difficult. If your
platelet problems are caused by a serious disease, your outlook may depend on
how well you manage that condition.