Friday, March 7, 2014

Platelet Clumps

Platelet Clumps

Background Information of Platelet clumps

Platelets has a tendency to clump even without any signals when it is extracted out into tubes and left standing for long periods, especially EDTA tubes. These platelet clumps will affect platelet counts in automated hematology analyzers. 

If the automated hematology analyzers flagged for low platelet count or abnormal platelet distribution, it is wise to look around the end edges of the peripheral blood film slide to observe the presence of platelet clumps.

Cellular Description

Platelet clumps are typically clumps of more than 5 small platelets and are usually found with fibrin threads or the edges of the PBF. They can be viewed clearly even at X10 microscope.

Clinical Significance

In most laboratories, platelet counts are obtained from automated hematology analyzers. If there are numerous platelets clumps observed under microscope, medical technologist/scientists will have to invalidate the platelet counts, as these platelets clumps will give an erroneous platelet count. It is crucial to highlight to the physician to suggest a repeat of the platelet count using sodium-citrated blood.

*Read Vacutainer Blood Tubes for more information on the principles of using different anti-coagulants/tubes

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