Low Platelet Count (Thrombocytopenia)
Platelets: How Low Can They Go?
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I’m now approaching 22 years with CLL. My most recent readings are white blood cells at 123, hemoglobin at 141 and platelets at 93 (two months ago they were at 60, my all-time low). I go every five weeks for gamma globulin infusion, with my last treatment of fludarabine (Fludara) in June 2004. My question is not how high should my white blood cell count go before treatment (it has been up to 170,000!) but rather at what level should I be concerned about my platelet count (which I think is more important)? I'm thinking about 40?
Your disease appears to be following a very slow course. Platelets can often be affected by CLL through a variety of mechanisms. Platelets are responsible for clotting the lower the levels, the greater the risk for excessive bleeding from trauma or spontaneous bleeding. Head (brain) bleeding is the most feared complication. Most hematologists would consider a platelet count below 50,000 to be worrisome. A platelet count below 10,000 is a significant risk for serious spontaneous bleeding. For now, you are quite safe with the current levels.
Video: #TomorrowsDiscoveries: The Importance of Platelets - Kelly Metcalf Pate, D.V.M., Ph.D.
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