What is a Platelet Tests?
Platelets, also called as thrombocytes, are tiny blood cells required for blood coagulation. Clotting is the process of stopping bleeding after an injury. Platelet testing is classified into two types: platelet count tests and platelet function tests.
A platelet count test determines how many platelets are in your blood. Thrombocytopenia is defined as a platelet count that is lower than normal. This disorder might cause you to bleed excessively after a cut or other type of bleeding injury. Thrombocytosis refers to a platelet count that is greater than usual. This might cause your blood to clot more than it should. Blood clots are hazardous because they can obstruct blood flow.
Platelet function tests assess the capacity of your platelets to form clots. Platelet function tests include the following:
This test determines how long platelets in a blood sample take to seal a small hole in a tiny tube. It aids in the detection of several platelet diseases.
This test assesses the strength of a blood clot as it develops. To stop bleeding, a blood clot must be strong.
This is a collection of tests performed to determine how effectively platelets cluster together (aggregate).
When specific compounds are given to a blood sample, the amount of light generated is measured. It can assist in determining whether or not the platelets are defective.
This is a laser-based test that looks for proteins on the surface of platelets. It can aid in the diagnosis of hereditary platelet abnormalities.
This test determines how long the bleeding stops after tiny wounds. It was originally used to test for a wide range of platelet abnormalities. Other platelet function tests are now being utilized more often. The findings of the latest tests are more dependable.
Other names are platelet function tests, thrombocyte count, platelet function assay, platelet aggregation studies.
What are the uses of Platelet Tests?
A platelet count is commonly used to monitor or diagnose diseases that cause excessive bleeding or clotting. A platelet count might be included in a complete blood count, which is frequently performed as part of a routine examination.
Platelet function tests can be performed to determine:
- Assist in the diagnosis of some platelet disorders.
- Platelet function should be monitored during difficult surgical operations such as cardiac bypass and trauma surgery. These procedures carry a higher risk of bleeding.
- Before surgery, ask patients whether they have a personal or family history of bleeding issues.
People who use blood thinners should be closely monitored. These medications may be prescribed to persons at high risk of heart attack or stroke.
One may also require platelet function testing when:
- Undergoing a complex surgery
- Taking medicines to reduce clotting
What happens during platelet tests?
During the test, a healthcare provider will use a tiny needle to draw blood from a vein in your arm. Following the insertion of the needle, a little quantity of blood will be taken as a sample in a test tube or vial. You might feel a slight sting or pain when the needle goes in or out. This normally takes five minutes.
How to prepare for the test?
A platelet count test requires no specific preparation.
You might need to stop taking certain medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, before having a platelet function test. If this is required, your doctor will notify you.
Is there any risk in the test?
Having a blood test poses relatively no risk or danger. You may experience discomfort or bruising where the needle was inserted, but mostly it will go soon.
What do the findings imply?
If the results shows platelet count is lower than normal (thrombocytopenia), this might mean:
If your platelet count is greater than usual (thrombocytosis), this might mean:
If the findings of your platelet function test were not normal, you may have a hereditary or acquired platelet issue. Although the abnormalities are present at birth, you may not experience symptoms until you are older. Acquired disorders do not appear at birth. They can be caused by other conditions, medications, or environmental exposure. The reason is sometimes unknown.
Platelet abnormalities that are inherited include:
- Von Willebrand disease is a hereditary illness that lowers platelet production or causes platelets to operate inefficiently. It can result in excessive bleeding.
- Glanzmann's thrombasthenia is a condition that inhibits the capacity of platelets to cluster together.
- Another condition that inhibits platelets' ability to clump together is Bernard-Soulier syndrome.
- Storage pool disease is a disorder that impairs platelets' capacity to release chemicals that aid in clumping together.
Chronic conditions that might cause acquired platelet abnormalities include:
- Failure of the kidneys
- Some kinds of leukemia
- MDS (Myelodysplastic syndrome) is a bone marrow disorder.
Important information to know about platelet function tests?
Platelet tests are sometimes prescribed along some of the following blood tests:
- PTT(Partial thromboplastin time test) which measures the time it takes for blood to clot.
- MPV blood test, that measures the size of your platelets
- Prothrombin time and INR test, which checks the body's ability to form blood clots