Pseudothrombocytopenia due to platelet aggregation and degranulation in blood collected in EDTA.
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Three patients are described in whom platelet aggregation and/or degranulation occurred in blood collected into EDTA. These changes resulted in spurious thrombocytopenia and morphological changes similar to those observed in some thrombocytopathies. The abnormalities were dependent on the presence of EDTA and did not occur in citrate, oxalate or heparin anticoagulants. In two patients the abnormality was shown to be due to a plasma factor which was not IgG, IgM, fibrinogen or albumin. The most likely explanation is that these patients have an unidentified abnormal plasma component which, on exposure to EDTA, develops 'anti-platelet activity'. Althought relatively uncommon a prospective study of the incidence of these phenomena indicates that they are probably more common than either platelet cold agglutinins or platelet satellitism. They have practical significance with respect to the diagnosis of thrombocytopenia and also to the interpretation of abnormal platelet morphology.
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