Macroplatelets: what they are, causes and symptoms

The macroplatelets, also called giant platelets, is the terminus that gives the platelets when they are more large than normal, both in size and in volume, around 3 mm in size and 7.0 fl of volume in average.

These larger platelets usually indicate alteration in the platelet activation and production process, which can occur as a result of heart problems, diabetes or hematological conditions, such as leukemia and myeloproliferative syndromes.

The evaluation of the size of the platelets is carried out by means of the observation of the blood vessels under the microscope; as well as through the result of the hematology, which includes the quantity and volume of platelets.

main causes

The presence of circulating macroplatelets in the blood indicates stimulation of the platelet activation process, which can be caused by several situations, including the main ones:

  • Hyperthyroidism;

  • Myeloproliferative diseases, such as essential thrombocythemia, myelofibrosis and polycythemia vera;

  • Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura;

  • Diabetes Mellitus;

  • Acute Myocardial Infarction;

  • Leukemia;

  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes;

  • Bernard-Soulier syndrome.

Larger than normal platelets present a higher level of activity and reactive potential, in addition to favoring thrombotic processes, and they have greater ease of platelet aggregation and thrombus formation, which can be very serious.

Likewise, it is important that exams are carried out so that the number of circulating platelets and their characteristics are known. In case of alterations, it is important to identify the cause of the macroplatelets so that the most appropriate treatment can be initiated.

How to identify macroplatelets

The identification of macroplatelets is carried out by means of a blood test, specifically hematology, in which all blood components are evaluated, including platelets.

The evaluation of platelets is carried out both quantitatively and qualitatively, that is, the number of circulating platelets is verified, whose normal value is between 150000 and 450000 platelets/µL, which can vary from one laboratory to another; as well as the characteristics of the platelets.

These characteristics are observed in the microscope through the Average Platelet Volume or MPV, which is a laboratory parameter that indicates the volume of platelets, being possible to know if they are greater than normal and the level of platelet activity. Normally, when the greater is the MPV, the greater are the platelets and the lesser is the total amount of circulating platelets in the blood, they are, because the platelets are produced and destroyed quickly.

Despite being an important parameter to verify platelet alterations, the MPV values ​​are difficult to standardize and may suffer interference from other factors. Know more about platelets.

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