Blood Test, CBC - Platelet Count

The Platelet count test is the measurement of number of platelets a person has, on average, per microliter and the test gives a platelet count per microliter (mcL) of blood. Generally Platelet count test includes in CBC test.

The ideal platelet range is 150,000 to 400,000 per mcL in most healthy people.

High platelet count is called as thrombocytosis. Low platelet count is called as thrombocytopenia.

A doctor will order a platelet count test if they suspect a person has a disorder that affects platelet count.

When your platelet count is high

When platelet count is high and for some reason the bone marrow is creating too many platelets, it is called primary, or essential, thrombocytosis. When excess platelets are due to an infection or other condition it is called secondary thrombocytosis.

Having high platelet count increase the risk of blood clots, a person can blood clots more easily when they have too many platelets

 Some common reasons that platelets are temporarily got high include:

  • recovering from excessive drinking or vitamin B12 deficiency
  • recovering from a recent injury
  • using birth control pills
  • recovering from blood loss after surgery
  • Excessive physical activity or exertion

More serious and chronic conditions

If a person’s platelet count remains high, there may be other conditions which can be responsible such as:

  • Cancer: stomach, Lung, breast, and ovarian cancers, lymphoma, can cause high platelet counts. Other blood testing scans or biopsy can test for cancer.
  •  Infections: Some infections, such as tuberculosis, can cause high platelets.
  • Anemia: People with iron-deficiency or anemia may have high platelets
  • Splenectomy: Removal of the spleen may cause a temporary increase in platelets.

When your platelet count is low

A low platelet count can create problem for the blood to clot, putting a person at risk of excessive bleeding.

Higher risk of spontaneous bleeding

A person can begin bleeding spontaneously if the blood platelet count falls below 20,000 per mcL, those people may require a blood transfusion

Common cause

  • Viruses, such as, HIV, AIDS, measles, and hepatitis may deplete platelets.
  • Chemotherapy can cause low platelet volume.
  • A type of anemia known as aplastic anemia reduces the number of all kinds of blood cells.
  •  Blood infection sepsis can reduce platelet count.
  •  Due to Lymphoma and leukemia body’s ability to make new platelets can reduce
  •  Liver cirrhosis, often due to excessive drinking, can reduce platelet count
  • Chronic bleeding ,such as stomach ulcers, can deplete platelets

Are there any risks to the test?

A platelet test is a very safe, common test. All tests carry some risk, however, these may include:

  • Infection
  • A hematoma
  • Feeling faint
  • Excessive bleeding


Changes in platelet count may mean that a person has a chronic illness or that there is an issue with the bone marrow. There are various other factors which can affect the results. Talk to your doctor to know the actual issue

Authenticated by:

Dr. Gaurav Sharma

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