Platelet Count (PLT)

What are Platelets (PLT)?

Platelets (PLT) are small fragments of cells that are essential to normal blood coagulation. A platelet examination can be used to screen for or diagnose various disorders and conditions that can cause blood-clotting problems. The results of a platelet examination may indicate a bleeding disorder, bone marrow disease or excessive clotting disorder, to name a few examples. Platelets are included the Full Blood Count (FBC)

When a blood vessel or tissue is injured and starts to bleed, platelets use coagulation to help stop the bleeding. This creates a clot at the opening of the wound. Platelets have to work well if coagulation is to work. If there are insufficient platelets, or if the platelets fail to work the way they should, a stable clot cannot be formed and the patient may be at increased risk of severe bleeding.

Platelets survive in the blood for around 8 to 10 days, and the bone marrow has to constantly form new platelets in order to replace the ones broken down, used up or lost through bleeding. Checking the number of platelets in the blood by means of a thrombocyte count can help to diagnose a range of different diseases.

Available at our clinic locations

Also available in our most comprehensive test Blood Test XL.

Why do we analyse the Platelet Count (PLT Count)?

Examining the platelet count is used to detect the number of platelets in the blood. A platelet examination is frequently carried out as part of a general health check. The test can be used for monitoring people with underlying diseases or who are undergoing treatment with medications known to affect platelets. It can also be used to monitor people who have received treatment for a platelet deficiency, in order to determine whether the therapy is effective.

High PLT Count

Seen in chronic inflammatory processes, myeloproliferative syndrome, thrombocyte function defects, splenectomy.

Low PLT Count

Seen in reduced bone marrow production in cases of aplastic anaemia, leukaemia, myelosuppressive substances, shortage of vitamin B and folate, and in cases of increased consumption of autoantibodies, infection, haemolytic states, SLE, splenomegaly, decimated intravascular coagulation (DIC). Thrombocyte aggregates in the EDTA tube can give a falsely low thrombocyte count.

PLT is one of the markers for Full Blood Count

Full Blood Count Info

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Werlabs offers health checks via blood analysis in collaboration with NHS and UKAS accredited labs. Order blood tests that suit your needs and then go to a local NHS clinic or schedule a home visit, anywhere in the UK. Expect your first results within 24 hours.

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