Thrombocytopenia in the intensive care unit

Thrombocytopenia in the ICU

  • Zohreh Ostadi
  • Kamran Shadvar
  • Sarvin Sanaie
  • Ata Mahmoodpoor tabriz university of medical sciences
  • Seied Hadi Saghaleini
Keywords: Thrombocytopenia, Intensive care unit, pathogenesis, management


Thrombocytopenia is a frequent finding in intensive care unit especially among adults and medical ICU patients.Thrombocytopenia is defined as a platelet count less than 100×109/l in ICU setting. Platelets are made in the bone marrow from megakaryocytes. Although not fully understood, proplatelets transform into platelets in the lung. The body tries to maintain platelet count relatively constant throughout life. Pathophysiology of thrombocytopenia can be defined by hemodilution, elevated levels of platelet consumption, compromise of platelet production, increased platelet sequestration and increased platelet destruction. Unlike in other situations, absolute platelet count alone does not provide sufficient data in characterizing thrombocytopenia in ICU patients. In such cases, the time course of changes in platelet count is also pivotal. The dynamics of platelet count decrease vary considerably between different ICU patient populations including trauma, major surgery and minor surgery/medical conditions.
There are strong evidences available that delay in platelet count restoration in ICU patients is an indicator of a bad outcome.

How to cite this:
Ostadi Z, Shadvar K, Sanaie S, Mahmoodpoor A, Saghaleini SH. Thrombocytopenia in the intensive care unit. Pak J Med Sci. 2019;35(1):282-287. doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

How to Cite
Ostadi, Z., Shadvar, K., Sanaie, S., Mahmoodpoor, A., & Saghaleini, S. H. (2019). Thrombocytopenia in the intensive care unit: Thrombocytopenia in the ICU. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, 35(1).