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Platelet Count

The normal number of platelets in the blood is 150,000 – 400,000 platelets per microliter (mcL).

Normal value ranges may vary slightly. Some lab use different measurements or may test different specimens. Talk to your doctor about your test results.

What Abnormal Results Mean

Low Platelet Count

A low platelet count is below 150,000. If you do not have enough platelets, you may bleed too much.

If your platelet count is below 50,000, your risk of bleeding is much higher. Even every day activities can cause this bleeding. You need to know how to prevent bleeding and what to do if you have bleeding.

A lower-than-normal platelet count is called thrombocytopenia. Low platelet count can be divided into three major causes:

  • Not enough platelets are made in the bone marrow
  • Platelets are being destroyed while in the bloodstream
  • Platelets are being destroyed while in the spleen or liver

Three of the more common causes of this problem are:

  • Cancer treatments such as drugs or chemotherapy, as well as radiation
  • Drugs and medicines
  • Autoimmune disorders, in which occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue, such as platelets

High Platelet Count

A high platelet count is 400,000 or above

A higher-than-normal number of platelets (thrombocytosis) refers to when your body is making too many platelets

  • A type of anemia in which red blood cells in the blood are destroyed earlier than normal.
  • After certain infections, major surgery or trauma, allergic reactions
  • Cancer
  • Certain medicines
  • Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
  • Polycythemia vera
  • Primary thrombocythemia
  • Recent spleen removal

Some people with high platelet counts may be at risk of forming blood clots. Blood clots can lead to serious medical problems