Thrombocytopenia in critical care patients

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Thrombocytopenia is a common laboratory finding In the intensive care unit (ICU) patient. Because the causes can range from laboratory artifact to life-threatening processes such as thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), identifying the cause of thrombocytopenia is important. In the evaluation of the thrombocytopenia patient, one should incorporate all clinical clues such as why the patient is in the hospital, medications the patient is on, and other abnormal laboratory findings. One should ensure that the patient does not suffer from heparin-Induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) or one of the thrombotic microangiopathies (TMs). HIT can present in any patient on heparin and requires specific testing and antithrombotic therapy. This cover a spectrum of disease ranging from TTP to pregnancy complications and can have a variety of presentations. Management of disseminated intravascular coagulation depends on the patient's condition and complication. Other causes of ICU thrombocytopenia include sepsis, medication side effects, post-transfusion purpura, catastrophic anti phospholipid antibody disease, and immune thrombocytopenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-282
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of intensive care medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2002


  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation
  • Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia
  • Intensive care unit
  • Platelet
  • Thrombocytopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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