Simple chart explains the confusing in platelets count results in different viral infection

Can Viral Infection Cause High Platelets Count in my blood tests? What viruses affect platelets level?

The commonest reason of elevated platelets count is the infection and inflammation, to be clearer: Viral infections that cause inflammations of the digestive system often cause an increase in the platelet count (medical term is thrombocytosis), but viruses that affect the upper respiratory tract (lungs) usually cause a decrease in the number of platelets (Thrombocytopenia in medicine books) in the blood cell count (FBC), but if a virus causes liver or skin infection, it is not specified if it will elevate or decline the platelet count, and below are the details to better understand the lab test results for you and your family.

Go there, if you don’t know what is the complete blood count

What are viral diseases?
The ailments that caused by a virus, the virus is the smallest living pathogen yet

What is the meaning of a viral infection?
It is a condition in which a harmful virus gets inside your body to reproduce more copies of the original virus, thus the human cell acts as a copier machine to the viruses, commonest viruses are those causing the common cold (flue, influenza) “e.g. rhinovirus, coronavirus, and adenovirus”.

Examples of common viral infections include:

You can press the name of the virus to read more detailed information about its effect on platelets count.

Read more about AID HIV viral infections

Symptoms of viral infections commonly are fever and allergic reaction of some degree.

Causes of viral infections may include inhalation of breath droplets if someone infected sneezed or coughed near you, ingestion the contaminated food, got bitten by infected creature.

Can a viral infection causes high platelet count?

Yes, many of viral infections can cause thrombocytosis (elevated blood platelets count), for instance most viral infections to the abdominal organs result in elevated blood platelets of some degree. Interestingly, there’re viruses that reduce or mute the immunity power by shutting down the bone marrow production of platelets or by induce the production of defective platelets, or just consume plenty of platelets in the resultant blood clot formation that occasionally occurs during severe level of the respiratory viral infection. Therefore, most known viral infections is associated with thrombocytopenia (low platelets count in the CBC test) instead of thrombocytosis (high platelets count). Keep reading to discover more important details.

Why do viral diseases cause high platelets in the blood?

Probably you’re wondering how the viruses can elevate platelets level in the blood, what’s the link? Scientifically blood platelets can sense the entrance of the virus antigens (proteins found on the surface of the virus) into the blood through their chemicals, those chemical later activates more platelets in order to clump and prevent the virus from infecting the cell and multiply, but some clever viruses (e.g. COVID-19) know that and stop the platelets from working at the first step, therefore the immune system recall the lymphocytes that specialized for virus control, then plenty of lymphocytes come, identify and secrete chemicals the lyse the virus. Therefore, the elimination of viral infection, thus why platelets may not have elevated in the blood after some vial infections.

Accordingly, the real reason of elevation of platelets count in respiratory viral diseases is not the virus infection but it is the accompanied bacterial infection, because virus’s infections are known to cause reduction in the immunity system, therefore, many bacteria can exploit the chance to infect the lungs or the nearest organ and lead to elevated WBC and PLT in the blood test results.

The CBC test may show elevated platelets and elevated lymphocytes count in some viral infections, but the COVID virus when was new infection used to reduce both platelets and lymphocyte count in CBC test

How long does platelets high count last after viral infection?

A viral infection usually lasts only a week or two and the body can perfectly clear it on its own even without antibiotics except some dangerous viruses that require admission at ICU or if the body infects with secondary bacterial infection that require antibiotic infusions. During the virus activity period the platelets may go higher up to 600,000 then down to near the normal 300,000 after recovery, so that you may not worry too much. in COVID infection the patients usually take one week for infection to peak in which platelets count appears reduced not elevated and another week for infection to decline and the platelets level used to appear normal after COVID recovery to be reassured.

What do the blood test results mean?

Elevated blood platelets level in FBC test when you have a viral disease is a marker of viral activity, in other words, viruses that reduce the number of blood platelets: the virus has moved from the stage of latency to the stage of activity in which it multiplies and thus disables the platelets so that they do not conflict with its pathological activity inside the body.
In the case of viruses that cause a noticeable rise in blood platelets in the test: this means more destruction of the virus in the tissues of the body, and therefore platelets increase to resist this deliberate destruction.

Elevated platelets count as a consequence of viral disease doesn’t necessarily mean or indicate a cancer or serious medical condition unless other lab results state that.

In the lab report you may notice a red flag or abbreviated letter such as “A” which means abnormal result, or the letter “H” near the number of platelets which highlights the elevated platelets results, the opposite meaning for the letter “L” next to platelets value which marks the lower than normal platelets levels, if your report may include the word “outside range” which means the platelets level exceeds the normal limit, sometimes labs print reddish “C” letter next to platelets count to mark the very high or extreme levels which require rapid medical intervention. If your lab printout “PLT AGG” word in your results you must retest again because this means your count is invalid. Know more meanings of red lab flags

Simple chart explains the confusing in platelets count results in different viral infection
Simple chart explains the confusing in platelets count results in different viral infection

Does COVID virus increase platelets count?

No, the opposite is true. COVID virus can exploit the immune system so powerfully and lead to the so-called immune storm, in which dangerous blood clots may occur in lungs and prevent the patient from breathing and lead to death. Accordingly, bone marrow may release too much platelets or the virus may delay or obstruct the platelets production in addition to excessive consumption, and therefore a severe decrease in the number of platelets appears in the blood test of a COVID patient, not an increase in platelets.
Elevated D-dimer test results along with the deficiency of platelets (thrombocytopenia) and low lymphocytes (leucopenic lymphopenia) are the key indicators of the cytokine storm that evolve due to the severity of coronavirus COVID19.

In 2022, COVID-19 from the first stages of the epidemic (first known strain) has become one of the usual and common cold viruses because the virus nearly infected all the populations of the world, and almost all the planet’s people become naturally or artificially vaccinated. Therefore, nowadays if you infected with COVID-19, your blood test results may not show low platelets or low lymphocyte, instead you may notice normal platelets count with COVID-19 infection as many people have, also the lymphocyte count increases during the episode of COVID-19 which indicate that our bodies have identified the virus.

Dengue virus

Does viral fever and dengue virus elevate platelet count?
The Kids who have fever (body temperature >100F, or >37.5C) without apparent cause may be infected with one or more of virus infections, the virus can go on its own or may accompanied by bacterial infection that require antibiotics.
Examples: Ebola, dengue fever, Marburg hemorrhagic fever, Lassa fever, yellow fever, and Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever.

Treatment is by simple methods of drinking and messaging the body with lukewarm water and may eating the popsicles help as well.

The viral infection symptoms (chills, weaken, dehydration, etc.) can last for few weeks even though if the fever resolve within few days because it depends on the type of virus that causing the disease.

Is viral fever reduce or increase the platelet count?

Most viral infections can reduce the count of blood platelets. For instance, the dengue fever that caused by dengue virus, this virus can suppress the bone marrow production of platelets, therefore the platelets count in the CBC test will appear low (thrombocytopenia, lower than 130,000), thus why the dengue infected people have low blood platelets.

Can flu virus elevate platelet count?

No, the infection of flu virus (Influenza A(H1N1) virus) leads to impairment of the function of platelets, therefore the platelets count may appear normal or decreased in the CBC test (below 140,000). Other lab results may include low mean platelet volume (MPV), high APTT and elevated levels of D-dimers, that’s a handful of reasons for why the body weaken and the breath shorten during the flu infection.

If the normal count of platelets is 150,000 to 400,000 per microlitre of blood. In viral fever, the platelets level appears lower than normal, it can be reduced up to 80,000 or less, but you should not worry because it must return to the normal levels once the patient healed.

Can Chickenpox and Shingles affect platelets count?

Varicella infection is one of viral infections that are familiar of induced thrombocytopenia in adults.
Chickenpox is a highly contagious disease, the responsible is the infection by varicella-zoster virus (VZV). Chickenpox known by itchy, blister-like rash that appears on the chest, back, and face, and then spreads.

Thrombocytopenia level in chicken pox about 25 x 10(9) /L or greater, but the low platelet count during varicella infection usually does not cause bleeding tendency (i.e. normal coagulation time test), but when the count become normal? Typically, the platelets count improves with the treatment of varicella.

Does chickenpox cause low or high platelets?

Acute thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is one of the chickenpox markers in the blood test count, low platelets level is a common secondary to chickenpox (secondary thrombocytopenia). Symptoms usually disappear in about 6 months, sometimes the treatment is not needed as the body clears the varicella virus within few weeks.

Do HIV virus lower or elevate platelets?

Does HIV affect platelet count? Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the responsible virus for the AIDS disease (Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), the HIV virus acts by hiding inside the circulating platelets themselves and can cause defects in the mother’s cell of the platelets (the megakaryocytes), that’s why platelets level decline after late active HIV infections (AIDS).

When HIV AIDS patients have thrombocytopenia?

According to many studies out there, below 15% of HIV patient may develop mild thrombocytopenia (slightly low platelets) in the first stages of the viral infection, but if the patients reaches the AIDS stage (the most dangerous), the platelets count is moderately and even markedly decreased.

Read more information about What do AIDS blood test results mean?

Because there’re many other types of viral infections, we can’t cover all details in this post, however, we’re welcome any question sent to us and appreciate your trust.

Why High Platelets Count (Thrombocytosis) with Iron Deficiency Anemia IDA (What do High Platelets Low Hemoglobin Low Iron mean?)

Can platelets be high because of low iron anemia?

Yes, platelets could be elevated secondary to low iron and low hemoglobin levels (the medical term is iron deficiency anemia, abbreviated IDA) but the too much amount of platelets isn’t due to a disease in platelets itself but as a complication of IDA, please continue reading to understand that…

Low iron in the blood does not directly affect the platelets level in the blood, that’s because the platelets don’t need iron to proliferate in the bone marrow but the RBCs need the iron in the differentiation step, therefore the RBCs decrease if the iron is low but the platelets increase if the iron is low. got it?

Get to know what is anemia type you have?

Understand high platelets in sickle cell anemia

Why the bone marrow may not work normally so it makes too many platelets and low RBC?

Insufficient iron in the blood will slow down the hematopoiesis “the process of making the blood cells in the bone marrow”, and results in low RBC and Hemoglobin, thus the bone marrow tissue produce too much platelets in the account of red cells, therefore, uncontrolled number of Platelets in CBC test. How to read CBC test?

So what is the reason behind the increasing production of platelets in the blood even though the iron amount needed to make cells is scarce?

Because the type of cells from which platelets and red blood cells originate are one, which is “the myeloid”, if the production of red blood cells decreases, all the production capacity will be directed to the second type, which is platelets, as in the picture below shows that both red blood cells and platelets originate from the same cell of origin which interpret why they are produced in that relative way.

 understand the plt and rbc have the same origin
Illustration for the hematopoietic process inside bone marrow showing how RBCs and PLTs share the same origin

in the image, notice that red line arrows, demonstrate that myeloid cell divides into red cells and platelets’ mother then it divided into platelets fragments.

Do you know what’s RBC in blood test?

What Causes High Platelets Count in Iron Deficiency Anemia?

The commonest reason for thrombocytosis subsided after Iron Deficiency Anemia is the low iron diet, or your may have inflammation in the stomach or intestines that block them from absorbing the digested iron-rich-food, chronic kidney disease is one example too, irregular menstrual bleeding and pregnancy are of conditions that consume plenty of iron thus the blood cells lack of iron and lead to IDA, therefore the platelets count is increased and appear as “platelets high” in the lab report.

If the Iron stores in the liver deplete due to current or ongoing inflammation, the free iron in the blood will dramatically decreased and also become unavailable for blood cell’s making. Ferritin blood test is recommended in such cases.

Can iron supplements cause high platelets?

No, the opposite is true. To explain that you may know that the scientific fact is the low iron will elevate the platelets level in the blood, on the contrary, adding iron to the blood by using the drugs that enhance the blood level of iron surely will adjust the iron to the normal level and also will induce blood platelets to return to their normal level and even it’s possible to make the platelet level decline and become less than the normal level as well, and thus a transient thrombocytopenia “low platelets” occurs after iron supplementations.

What is the Platelets level in the iron deficiency Anemia?

Platelets count is the blood test may go as high as 900,000 if you are severely anemic of iron deficiency, the reasons is that lack of iron will redirect the bone marrow to produce plenty of platelets while RBC production is reduced, that’s medically called “iron–deficient erythropoiesis” and induce “megakaryopoiesis”.
However, as the IDA progresses the bone marrow may produce plenty of platelets that appear higher than normal range in the blood test but the resultant platelets may be larger than normal size and showed enhanced aggregation which means the elevated platelets in the IDA do not necessarily doing their normal required function.

You may want to understand what does the word “anemic” mean?

What does it mean by platelets with enhanced aggregation?

The main function of platelets is to adhere to make a plug formation whenever a vessel injured which called “the platelets aggregation function” or “platelets reactivity”, but if the platelets increase in count, they will consequently increase in adhering potential leading to “enhanced aggregation” which may increase the risk of arterial thrombosis (blood clot risk) or other cardiovascular diseases.

Can I have IDA and my platelets be normal and not elevated?

Yes, it can be happening to have mild decreased iron levels and Anemia that don’t impact the platelets level too much, it means your platelets count still inside the normal limits in the blood test results during the Anemia that is due to insufficient iron in the blood. Suggested reason is the large reference range of normal platelets levels “140-400” which allow the blood to interact normally without being an issue on the platelets count at the end, thus unless iron reduction goes worse, platelets will not exceed the maximum normal number in a healthy person.

Another reason is the false results of platelets count, yes, it can be happen that your count is normal in real while the lab reports it as high, possibly because unexpected error in sampling or instruments or unexperienced technicians.

However, the red blood cells in iron deficiency anemia is smaller than than the normal size thus the automounting machines may falsely count the small red cell as platelet because the platelets are smaller than red cell, therefore the blood count test reveal elevated count of platelets while it’s normal indeed.

Incorrect blood sampling may lead to hemolysis of red blood cells which impact on the final count of RBCs and PLT, thus CBC reveals incorrect platelets count which indeed fragmentation of shed red cell, also, formation of small clots in the sample can be a reason to lower platelets than the actual count.

How do you know the platelets count is correct? if the “AGG” flag is on the platelets number then it’s indication of sampling or instrumental errors and must repeat the platelets blood test.

Symptoms of High Platelets in patients with Iron Deficiency Anemia

How do you feel if your platelets count is elevated with anemia of low iron?

Because the high platelets level (thrombocytosis) is a second effect of low iron, it’s rare to complain from thrombocytosis symptoms, instead you may feel the symptoms of the Iron deficiency anemia which may include:

  • Extremely exhausted, tired and feeling Weakness.
  • Headache, low concentration, dizziness or lightheadedness.
  • Pale and dry skin, Cold hands and feet.
  • Chest pain and heart palpitations (fast heartbeat or shortness of breath).
  • Some rare complications such as Brittle nails, soreness of your tongue.
  • Increased risk for infections

Examples of blood test results following the elevated platelets and IDA

Besides the low iron, anemia, and the platelets high count also the IDA impact on the other blood test results as shown below:

  • Low iron “about 10, normal range 40–100 “
  • Low Ferritin (iron stores blood test) ” less than 90, normal range 10–200″
  • Low Hemoglobin level “less than 11.0, normal range is 11–18”
  • High or Normal TIBC “greater or equal to 450, normal range 240–450 mcg/dL)
  • Low Red blood cells “less than 4.5–6.0, normal RBC levels
  • High Platelets “above 450,000, normal range 140,000–450,000)
  • MPV and PDW may be normal or decreased in IDA and elevated platelets count.
  • Normal not elevated PT time and INR

That is the diagnostic pattern of blood test results that is characteristic to the IDA and high platelets, however if you complain from another ailment, your lab results will probably impact as well. That was the examples of negative effects of low iron levels on other lab tests.

Explaining the lab report codes near of the platelets count such as:

  • The flag “A” which means abnormal platelets count
  • The flag “H” next to Platelets number which means high platelets count, or elevated the normal limit.
  • The flag “*” which indicate that the platelets count is not accepted and must retest again.
  • “outside range”, a flag indicate that platelets count in the CBC test exceeded the known normal limit which is abnormal.
  • The abbreviation “AGG” which indicate abnormal clumps of platelets in the sample and the lab must recount platelets again before reporting the final count to the patient.
  • The Abbreviation “PLT” stands for “Platelets”.

You may want to understand lab codes and flags

What do lab test results mean in this case?

Low iron means followed by high count of platelets in the CBC test can indicate abnormal platelets production due to insufficient iron which impacts on manufacturing of red blood cells in bone marrow, just that benign increase which usually resolve and stabilize on its own just after the resolution of low iron and low hemoglobin.

A simple chart explaining how low iron anemia affects platelets count in the blood
A simple chart explaining how low iron anemia affects platelets count in the blood

But, high platelets count (thrombocytosis) with low hemoglobin and low iron (IDA) doesn’t mean cancer, malignancy, or other serious diseases unless other investigations and scanning report that.

How does iron help in the production of platelets?

Most anemia (50%) in all the world is IDA; while the rest (50%) of anemia reasons are infectious and inflammatory diseases (especially malaria), blood loss from parasitic infections, and other nutrient deficiencies (vitamin A, riboflavin, folic acid, and vitamin B12). The possible reason for IDA in children is the iron deficiency that often coexists with lead intoxication, to understand that you may know that the competition of several other heavy metals may share the iron intestinal absorption pathway. e.g. lead, manganese, cobalt, and zinc. This interaction may produce serious medical complications in children

Can low iron level affect your platelets count?

Definitely yes, because most patients with iron deficiency anemia will have normal or increased blood platelet counts to the extreme degree (alot of platelets in the bloodstream without a necessity), some platelet counts may go higher than 1,000 × 109/L at the time of late diagnosis.

If you have IDA, which high or low platelets will occur?

Thrombocytosis (high count of platelets test) is the most common complication of low iron, nevertheless, thrombocytopenia in association with iron deficiency is relatively rare.

The factors that lead to platelets elevation if you have anemia of iron deficiency

Low Iron and Low transferrin saturation results are of reasons behind too much blood platelets in the test results. Transferrin saturation to be normal must be between 35.5% and 44.9% for women and 38.3% to 48.6% for men. Low iron and transferrin levels means that there is insufficient iron in the blood and the protein bind to and transferring the iron has too many places that is empty and need iron molecules to bind to it.

Is the level of platelets in the blood directly or inversely proportional to the level of iron deficiency anemia in the blood?

Platelets level in the blood is inversely proportional to the ID anemia, that’s because low iron will prevent the red blood cells from being produced in sufficient numbers while induce the bone marrow to make too much unwanted platelets, therefore, the more severe and hypo-chronic (prolonged reduction) anemia has higher platelet count

Why do Inflammation causes Iron deficiency anemia and elevated platelets?

Inflammation considered as an obstacle to the complete absorption of iron, also the IL-6 and other inflammatory proteins increase in reaction to inflammatory process which works like a concern for the body’s systems, thus the body works to stop inflammation instead of carrying out the vital processes required for its growth and prosperity, and also inflammation causes the body to divert all its resources to the process of stopping the cause of inflammation, which reduces the resources needed for the body maintenance and growth. Hence the reasons that make iron reduces in the blood, thus iron will not reach the bone marrow tissue to form red blood cells, so anemia (IDA) will occur, and as a result, the platelets will increase in the FBC test (Thrombocytosis), which may harm the body instead of benefiting it.

How does iron deficiency affect hematopoiesis and elevate platelets?

Why do you get elevated platelets count (thrombocytosis) with iron deficiency?

Looking at the picture that explains the sequence of blood formation from the beginning inside the bone marrow tissue (above), it turns out that:

There’s the first step which called “haematopoietic transition of the endothelial” where the iron has no concern with it, thus the blood cells continue through this stage to grow and differentiate into two main types, the “Lymphoid” which is the precursor of lymphocytes that fight viruses, and the second type “Myeloid” which the progenitor for production of most of other cells including the Platelets and RBCs.

Second step is where the “Myeloid” subdivided into many cells, one of them is the red blood cells “Erythrocyte” that consume huge amount of “iron” to synthesize the protein “Heme” in the hemoglobin molecule, Hemoglobin is the reddish fluid fills the red blood cell and consists of many iron atoms, iron inside the hemoglobin plays important role in binding to other nutrients and oxygen to transport them to the other tissues.

Therefore, if there’s no iron is available in the bone marrow, the RBCs only is what will stop or reduce proliferating, next consequence is that the bone marrow will produce other cells in the “Myeloid” that don’t need iron in the production process, therefore the bone marrow abnormally producing plenty of unneeded platelets, and alot of Neutrophils, Basophils, Eosinophils, and Monocytes.

Also, the cloned RBCs when the blood lacks the iron will be smaller in size (Anisocytosis) which means less effective in carrying oxygen and will live shorter which induce bone marrow to harry up to compensate, thus a test called reticulocyte count will be a good indicator of bone marrow compensation.

What’s reticulocyte count stands for? And what does high retics indicate?

The word reticulocyte stands for “the blood cell that looks a netlike under microscope” and abbreviated “Retic count” in the laboratory, the reticulocyte is an immature cell that preceding the adult red blood cell, Retic count test reporting what’s the percentage of the retics cells in the whole red blood cells count in the blood sample, the more retics cell the more immature production of blood cells from bone marrow which is considered a good indicator that there’s a reasons rushes the bone marrow to release abundance of RBCs even they still immature, of course this can lead to a miss.

Thus, severe IDA can lead to high retics percentage in the red blood cells which draws the doctor’s attention that the patient needs a fresh blood transfusion instead of his deficient-blood, which has become sick and full of immature blood cells.

What’s ansiocytosis and poikilocytosis?

They’re medical terms for abnormal morphology (size and shape) of blood cells, usually used to describe that there are more than one definite size and shape of red blood cells in the blood.

Well, is high white blood cells (WBCs) and too much Platelets because of IDA or inflammation?

Increased Granulocytes count and platelets count in the presence of low hemoglobin (in case of iron def. anemia) may thought it is because of a current inflammatory response (inflammation) but the actual reason may be the Anemia of iron deficiency.

In general, it’s of natural surviving response, when the blood doesn’t have enough normal blood cells it compensates by releasing too much blood cells into the blood stream, but why the platelets increased during anemia due to imbalance in bone marrow.

You may want to know the meaning of high WBC and high PLT

I am pregnant has iron deficiency anemia and my lab tests show platelets high, wat does this mean?

It’s very common to find low hemoglobin and low iron results (IDA) during the pregnancy months, as well as the decrease in calcium, vitamin B12, folate, and other minerals and vitamins, the typical reason is that the fetus body consume huge amount of nutrients to build and grow, the vast withdrawing of iron especially in the late months of pregnancy usually causes reactive or secondary thrombocytosis (platelets count above the normal limit without a platelets illness), but you shouldn’t be concerned because the increased platelets level (may go up to 900,000 while the normal is up to 450,000) will not hurt the baby and can be reversible but the pregnant woman must follow-up regularly to avoid any unexpected complications, that’s it.

Understand more about hCG level, the pregnancy hormone

Should I worry about elevated platelets if I have Iron deficiency Anemia?

When should I worry about platelets high count following low iron anemia?

Priority is the treatment of iron deficiency anemia at first which is usually simple then platelets count will turn back normal within few days even in its own without specific medicine for thrombocytosis.

Elevated platelets if followed the low iron anemia isn’t a concern if there’s no other disease and may resolved in a matter of days but with regular treatment and following the doctor’s instruction well.

Take into your account, After spleen removal platelets may go down after two months, understand elevated platelets count after splenectomy

High platelets and no IDA, what does that mean?

It is possible that your lab results show elevated platelets count but you don’t have anemia or low iron, that’s is common because there’re many other reasons to increase the blood platelets in absence of IDA and anemia, in this post we tried to explain the causes of thrombocytosis following IDA from many different angles, if you didn’t find what you are looking for please just register account, post new question to get instant response and follow to learn more.

drawing shows how does thrombocytosis occurs post spleen surgery

What Does High Platelets Count mean After Removal of your Spleen (Understand Thrombocytosis post Splenectomy)?

In order to understand the reasons of high blood platelets count after removing your spleen you must know some scientific basics for well understanding the meaning of elevation.

Spleen is that organ that located in the abdomen back to the rib cage on the upper left side, it’s one member of the human immune system to fight bacteria and other invasions as well as removing aged cells from circulation.

Removal of spleen is medically called “splenectomy”. Spleen removal comes after abnormally prolonged enlargement of spleen which lead to the untreatable chronic ITP disease (Acute low platelets count), ITP stands for Immune or Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, when ITP blood test results reveal low platelets count but the reasons is unknown or may be the immunity system isn’t properly functioning, therefore, the spleen must be removed from the body to prevent serious complication.

How Does spleen affect platelets?

About third of platelets amount is circulating in the blood then stored in the spleen. The other 70% are circulating in the bloodstream for 7 – 10 days then become aged and the spleen capture them for recycling because the body’s immune system doesn’t use these platelets for blood clot formation during the period of 10 days. That was the best answer for the role of spleen in the life cycle of platelets and how do platelets leave the body?.

If you were asking, What’s the relationship between platelets and spleen? here’s the another answer

You must understand that in the steady state, the platelets and white blood cells are temporarily stored in the spleen in preparation for any possible confrontation with microbial invasions on the body, also the spleen filters the blood from the weak aged blood cells by engulfing and dissociate them into their raw components that will be used later for making new healthy cells.

If the spleen being sick, it will traps more platelets inside while the blood stream lacks of platelets, that is the reason the spleen become larger (i.e. accumulation of too many blood cells that can’t escape), and that’s why the blood platelets test reveal low platelets count “thrombocytopenia” when the spleen is larger than normal even though their are no symptoms may appear on the patient.

On the other hand, if the spleen is completely removed from the body through the surgical splenectomy operation, the platelets level abnormally increase in the blood stream because the spleen was the organ that responsible of controlling them, that’s why the blood platelets count appear elevated “thrombocytosis” after the surgery.

Does removal of spleen affect platelets count?

Yes, it can raise the platelets count in the blood test results because there’s no full management of the count by the body systems.

It’s a usual medical condition called Reactive or Secondary Thrombocytosis which means thrombocytosis (high platelets count in the CBC test) that caused by reactive disease or ongoing condition (e.g. removed spleen) that’s not related to the platelets themselves.

Illustration explains how do platelets decreased before surgery and elevated after removal of spleen
Illustration explains how do platelets decreased before surgery and elevated after removing of spleen

Is it normal to have elevated platelets count after splenectomy?

No, spleen removal is not a normal condition because the spleen helps the body regulates how many platelets should be in the blood?, thus, cutting the spleen from the platelets way will eventually cause abnormally high count in the CBC test.

Is high platelets count after spleen removal a good or a bad thing?

Elevated platelets after throw away the spleen from the body definitely is a bad thing but not too harmful, it’s called the “reactive thrombocytosis” which means increased platelets count in the blood due to reactivity of the blood system because the platelets count goes up after any injury to seal the wounds and contribute in the healing process, that’s why it’s natural and of good things to see high platelets in the blood after surgery, and it is a predictable lab finding after removing your spleen, so please feel reassured and don’t worry. However, too much platelets after splenic removal doesn’t found to cause the symptoms of thrombocytosis to appear because other organs such as the liver (liver Kupffer cells) may perform some of the spleen tasks which preventing the body from disruption or stop working. understand liver enzymes

When to worry about high platelets in the blood after splenectomy?

Splenectomy is a procedure of comparable risk, in other words, splenic removal surgery has 1.6% mortality rate “very small risk” and high success rate around 60%. which is satisfactory.
Because it’s of the blood homeostasis to see increasing in the platelets post-operative processes, even though, but the continuous rise in the number of platelets for a long period of time after the spleen removal becomes abnormal and undesirable, and other reasons may expected, thus you must be examined well by a specialist doctor.

High platelets count is one of the side effects if you have asplenia (your spleen is removed), other risks may include:

  1. Blood loss during the surgery, but it can be encounterable.
  2. Allergic reactions or breathing difficulties from anesthesia.
  3. The possible formation of blood clots, especially if the blood components and elevated platelets are out of control.
  4. Infection, because the spleen involving in the fight of infections.
  5. Stroke or heart attack if the thrombosis occur.

Although, it’s better to follow-up carefully after removing your spleen to ensure there’s no undesirable complications may occur.

Pregnancy with splenectomy is very risky and may lead to early delivery, also the elevated blood platelets as a consequence of splenectomy may lead to pregnancy failure. learn How to read pregnancy test?

Why high platelets are found in blood count if the spleen is removed?

If you were asking about the reasons and causes that lead to a high platelet count post splenectomy, here’s the correct answer.

Spleen store some platelets in the standby mode until such time as it is released when a bacterial infection occurs, thus the spleen is the primary organ that regulate the numbers of platelets by engulfing them, therefore, if the spleen is removed, the number of platelets will not be under full control and thus appear in tests more than the normal level specified for healthy people whose spleen has not been removed.

The spleen controls the number of platelets in the blood through releasing “splenic macrophages” according to the instruction come from the brain, a person who does not have a spleen has a low or no number of macrophages that control the number of platelets in the bloodstream, and thus show an increase in platelets than usual in laboratory results. Typically that was the answer for how does the spleen keep platelets count regulated not elevated nor reduced.

What’s the elevated platelets level with splenic removal?

After splenectomy Platelet counts may increase one third the count before the removal and may double elevated, e.g. if the platelets are 300,000 before the operation, it can go higher to 400,000 or 600,000 post-splenectomy operation.

How long will high platelets last post splenectomy operation?

The elevated platelet level may last about 1-3 weeks postoperatively, then the platelets count must re-stabilize and appear within normal limits after the surgical wounds healed and any delay of platelets elevation can be of another issue and must get follow-up. Surgical Wounds may heal in weeks, months, or rarely years it all depends on the whole status of the body after the spleen surgery then platelets count back to normal and don’t stay elevated forever.

What happens to blood test results after splenectomy?

Besides the high risk of blood clot formation, lab results other than high platelet counts post-splenectomy may look like this:

  • Leukocytosis “high WBC” is the commonest finding in addition to elevated platelets after the spleen is removed.
  • Monocytosis (high count of monocytes and/or Neutrophilia (high count of neutrophils cells in the blood count).
  • Anemia low hemoglobin” with low or normal red blood cells.
  • MPV and PDW% may be elevated because the new platelets after splenectomy may be larger.
  • Iron test and ferritin: may appear elevated or normal.
  • Bilirubin test: may be elevated or normal.
  • Sed rate test: may be elevated due to inflammation before and after spleen surgery.

High platelets and no spleen, what does that mean? Can no spleen cause high platelets?

It’s known that the disorders of the type “myeloproliferative” are responsible for pumping plenty of platelets “Thrombocytosis” into the bloodstream due to bone marrow’ issue, also if there’s no spleen (Asplenia) in the body “whether it is surgically removed or not-functioning”, the platelets population surely increase in most of people.


The spleen is main player in immunity system and the terminator of blood cells including the platelets, thus if the spleen function interrupted or the spleen itself is removed, the platelets and white blood cells appear decreased during the splenomegaly (over-sized spleen), but after the spleen removal (splenectomy) the platelets and WBC released in too much quantities for up to a month then stabilize and back to the normal ranges because the liver cells replacing the spleen function and maintain the platelets count.

List the Diseases associated with impaired spleen function (Functional Asplenia) that can affect platelets count

  1. Sickle cell anemia elevate platelets level, in which the spleen enlarged and cause the platelets and red blood cells to accumulate and distort in their morphology, therefore the counts of platelets and other blood cells increase in the final lab results.
  2. Malaria, is another parasite infection of the blood that affect spleen and platelets count.
  3. Pneumonia
  4. Meningitis

If the platelets are found “high” on the automounting machines, the laboratory usually print the letter “A” or “H” near of platelets number in order to highlight it as abnormally high, learn the meaning of lab flag “H” near PLT

Understand the red flags on lab results

What blood test can detect spleen problems?

Spleen function test is the “complete blood count” or “CBC test” which include the full count of blood cells, during splenomegaly (large-size spleen) the blood suffers from pancytopenia which means “general count reduction of all types of blood cells “.

Hope you understand your platelets results after your surgery of spleen and it’s allowed to send questions about your lab tests and we promise satisfactory level of response.

Sickle RBCs and high platelets clogs the blood vessel and block blood flow

High platelet count in sickle cell disease Explained “from real case studies”

What is this post talking about? to answer many questions like:
Do blood platelets elevate in patients with sickle cell disease?
How many platelets in patient of SCD? or To which level the platelets increase of a sickle cell disease person?
When to worry about high platelets if you’re a SCD person?
Why do PLTs of the SCD patient elevate? is this bad or good?

In a patient suffering of Sickle cell disease these results are often arise in the blood test results.

  • Low hemoglobin “e.g. Hgb 4-7”
  • Low Red blood cells and hematocrit “e.g. RBCs count# 2.0-3.5”, “HCT, PCV% 10-20”.
  • High platelets count and become low after platelets count after a few period of time.
  • Reticulocyte count may be elevated “2.5-15.0%of RBCs”.
  • Bilirubin test level may be elevated “Jaundice” if the hymolysis of blood occur “e.g. blood bilirubin 2 to 30”.
  • Iron levels in the blood may be depleted “e.g. free iron less than 5 and ferritin test less than 10 “
  • Hemoglobin type-S is present in Hemoglobin Electrophoresis test “e.g. Hgb S >zero”.

Explanation of Sickle cell in a glance

Sickle cell disease defined as a chronic inflammatory condition that increases the acute phase reactants blood levels and of course activation of more platelets which means abnormally high demand of platelets, thus how the platelets count high in the blood test of patients with sickle cells disease.

What happens in your blood if you have sickle cell disease?

The fluid that fills red blood cells and carries within it oxygen and nutrients is the “Hemoglobin”, If you have a genetically defect in the manufacturing process of hemoglobin, the red cells become sickle-shaped and not like a disk as the normal, and therefore, the red blood cells that contain this distorted hemoglobin are unable to serve your body well in providing its needs from Oxygen and the necessary nutrients, accordingly, the body suffers from pain crisis, wasting and severe weakness, whether over a long period time or suddenly.

The lack of oxygen and food as a result of the rapid death of distorted red blood cells makes their number decrease, thus leaving your body exposed to all kinds of severe pain, swelling, poor vision, and weak or stunted growth.

Shows how Sickle RBCs and high  platelets clogging the blood vessel and block the blood flow

The complications of sickle cell erythrocyte malformation include:

When unhealthy red blood cells are distorted, it slows down the blood flow, and if the blood slows down, it can stop anywhere in the body and the cells clump over each others, thus a clot occurs in any organ, followed by ischemic necrosis or atrophy of the organ that the blood stops from enriching it. Actually that is the cause of all accompanying diseases to the sickle cell disease, e.g. acute chest disease, strokes as a result of slowing the flow of blood to the brain thus the blood may stop and clot may occur which may lead to cerebral edema and death occur.

The Blindness occurs as a result of poor blood circulation as well, Gallstones, and ulcers in the legs are among the complications that occur as a result of sickled RBCs.

What is the role of platelets in sickle cell disease?

Platelets are one of the types of blood components that gather and clump to form the clots “thrombosis” which occur as a result of the slow flowing of blood inside the blood vessels, and therefore the body thinks that the platelets are decreasing and consequently tries to produce more platelets and release them into the blood circulation more than the normal to compensate for the deficiency, and therefore a temporary increase in the number of platelets may occur in the test, but after a period of time, the bone marrow cannot produce more platelets which causes decline in platelets count to appear in the platelets blood test.

What does high platelets and low hemoglobin mean in sickle cell disease?

It is scientifically known that sickle cell disease mainly affects red blood cells and the reason is the manufacture of defective hemoglobin that cannot perform its function in transporting oxygen and nutrients, nor can it even support the red blood cells to become normal in shape, and then the red blood cells break faster than their normal rate of breaking Thus, the number of red blood cells in the blood count test decreases.

It is not common for other blood cells to be affected by sickle cell anemia, unless there are major complications such as peripheral or pulmonary clots, etc., then platelets are caught in the clots, and thus the number of platelets in the blood test decreases, low platelets is medically named Thrombocytopenia.

Also, when clots occur in peripheral parts of the body, atrophy or ischemia may occur to the next organ that follows the clot location, and thus the white blood cells move of all kinds to deal with the resulting inflammation, that’s why you may show high WBC count in the white blood cell count test. And therefore, doing the full blood count (CBC&deff test) is better to follow-up sickle cell episode than the blood test for platelets count only, because the CBC test measures the count of all blood cells which helps the doctor make the right decision.

Are platelets increase or decrease in the sickle cells disease?

In fact, at the beginning of blood clots, the number of blood platelets may increase as a result of the increased demand for them at the site of clotting in the body, but when the clots grow and increase with time, the platelets are consumed in abundance, and therefore platelet deficiency appears in the blood count test.
Interestingly, many of the Medicines for sickle cell disease can also affect the levels of blood cells in the blood test.

If your child has sickle cell disease, testing for full blood cells count in the nearest laboratory can tell the doctors and staff about your child’s disease progression and how to effectively treat it.

Why does the SCD patient have low RBCs? Do you know why breath shortage is common in SCD patient?

Normal red blood cell compared to the shape of the sickled red blood cell
Normal RBC Vs Sickled RBCs as seen under microscope not by auto-counting machines

People with sickle cell disease have abnormal type of hemoglobin, called sickle hemoglobin or hemoglobin S, the red blood cells contain that defected hemoglobin which is unable to carry oxygen to other parts of the body leading to hypoxia or shortage of breath. Also SCD hemoglobin is the reason why red blood cells are damaging shortly and appear low RBC count in the blood test. That was the reasons of SCD patients have low hemoglobin or Anemia, and low RBCs count.

The Hemoglobin electrophoresis in sickle cell anemia is the best diagnostic test for “Hemoglobin S”, the defected hemoglobin in the sickle-shaped RBCs, thus if the hemoglobin electrophoresis test is positive for “hemoglobin S” it means the person has the sickle cell anemia and must start treatment plan, but if the blood test results of “hemoglobin S” is negative or “zero” it means that the anemia isn’t due to sickled red blood cells.

A blood smear examination is one of best tests to know if there’re sickled RBCs or not, a blood smear is made in the laboratory from a small blood sample, then examined under the light microscope, if the RBCs appear like the sickle, the examiner write down how many sickle cells per red cells count and report it as a percentage

Do platelets elevate in all kinds of sickle cell crisis?

There are three main types of sickle cell crisis, vasoocclusive, aplastic, splenic sequestration, and hyperhemolytic. The vasoocclusive is the commonest sickle cell crisis type which may be occur suddenly (but lasts about 5 days) on a specific location of the body or can be occur in many organs.

Also, the causes of four main types of sickle cell anemia are different mutations in the below genes:

  • Hemoglobin SS disease.
  • Hemoglobin SC disease.
  • Hemoglobin SB+ (beta) thalassemia.
  • Hemoglobin SB 0 (Beta-zero) thalassemia.
  • Hemoglobin SD, hemoglobin SE, and hemoglobin SO.
  • Sickle cell trait.

Explanation of platelets count in the most common clinical manifestation of SCD, the vaso-occlusive crisis.

“Vaso” means in the vessels, occlusive means “obstruction”, therefroe vasoocculative crisis means the blood clots that occur in the smallest blood vessels anywhere in the body because the circulation is being obstructed by the sickled RBC, the next organ will be painful ischemic (i.e. the organ that didn’t get supply of blood because the flow is reduced or restricted), treatment of choice are the sufficient vigorous intravenous hydration fluids and analgesics and Normal saline and 5% dextrose in saline, to correct dehydration and to compensate continuing blood loss, both insensible and due to fever. Normal saline and 5% dextrose in saline may be used.

Do platelets high or low during acute chest syndrome?

Acute chest syndrome (ACS) is a deadly complication results of sickle cell disease in patients hospitalized with blood clots of the type “vaso-occlusive” crisis. Patients may have high platelet counts during steady state of the ACS, but platelets usually decrease during the acute vaso-occlusive crisis of the ACS. Doctors may aim on the platelets count to predict the development of ACS during admission in the hospital.

Low Platelets level during Vaso-occlusive crisis is a predictor of acute chest syndrome during sickle cell disease, because the increased active platelets increase the platelet-derived molecules for cellular adhesion which they’re important markers of inflammation. Acute vaso-occulsive crisis will cause decline in platelets count in the blood test due to sudden blood loss, platelets increase at the beginning or during steady state as the demand of platelets increases at the first of the blood clots. Therefore, the patient with acute sickle cell crisis usually has low platelets count in the blood test results.

The aplastic crisis is a condition where the Red blood cell production is stopped leading to low platelets number not a high platelets number. Because the bone marrow is not producing red blood cells.

In the Splenic sequestration crisis, the sickled RBCs stay inside the spleen and can’t go out which lead to enlargement of spleen “splenomegaly” and appear as large spleen, therefore the spleen traps more and more blood cells and platelets causing a big decline of platelets count in the CBC test. Because of that the blood platelets appear low not high during the Splenic sequestration crisis.

If a child has rapid drop in RBCs count “e.g. RBCs 3.0 while the normal is 5.0-7.0”, the reticulocyte count test is high “e.g. Retics result is 8%, the normal 0.2-2.0”, and hemoglobin Hgb 5.0, normal 11-14, severely low”, they’re clear indicators of hemolytic Anemia especially if the blood smear examination revealed that there’re sickled cells RBCs, Hyperhymolytic crisis is another name for that complication of sickle cell anemia. Hyperhymolytic crisis due to infection, toxins, certain drugs, or blood transfusion will lead to acute loss of blood cells, that’s why the RBC, WBC, Platelets appear low in the CBC test if the Hyperhymolytic crisis occurs.

When to worry about high platelets if you’re a person has sickle cell disease?

If you or your child has sickle cell disease, his platelets count is probably normal in the steady state, then platelets count might increase “Thrombocytosis” at the beginning of the crisis, but platelets will decrease “Thrombocytopenia” later as the complications progress. therefore the count of platelets in the blood count test can be used as a good indicator of sickle cell disease complications which is of good news to know. Thus you may worry about platelets is they rapidly drop or elevated.

Thus, the platelets count in the different types of sickle cell disease is well explained, but if you have lab results that need to be cleared, we can do it for you, the service is still free yet.