It's likely that a routine blood test showing a high platelet count will be your first indication that you have thrombocytosis.
Besides taking your medical history, examining you physically and running tests, your doctor may ask you about factors that could affect your platelets, such as any recent surgical procedures, blood transfusions or infections. You may be referred to a doctor who specializes in blood diseases (hematologist).
Your doctor will look for what's causing your high platelet count, including determining whether it's reactive thrombocytosis due to an underlying condition or whether there's no apparent cause, which could indicate essential thrombocythemia or another bone marrow disorder.
Here's some information to help you get ready and to know what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet.
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason you are scheduling your appointment.
- Write down your health history, including recent infections, surgical procedures, bleeding and anemia.
- Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements that you're taking.
- Take a family member or friend along. Sometimes it can be difficult to take in all the information you hear during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
For thrombocytosis, some basic questions to ask include:
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- Is my condition temporary or chronic?
- What treatment do you recommend?
- Will I need to take medication?
- Will I have any side effects from the treatment?
- What kind of follow-up will I need?
- Do I need to restrict my activity?
- What are possible complications of my condition?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Should I see a specialist?
- Do you have any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me?
- What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions that occur to you during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
July 10, 2015
- What signs and symptoms have you noticed?
- When did you first notice these signs and symptoms?
- Have they gotten worse over time?
- Have you had a recent medical procedure or blood transfusion?
- Have you had a recent infection or vaccine?
- Do you drink alcohol?
- Do you have headaches, dizziness or weakness?
- Do you have any chest pain?
- Have you had any vision problems?
- Have you had any bleeding or bruising?
- Have you experienced any numbness or tingling in your hands or feet?
- Do you have a family history of high platelet counts?
- Tefferi A. Approach to the patient with thrombocytosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 15, 2015.
- What are thrombocythemia and thrombocytosis? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/thrm/. Accessed June 15, 2015.
- Reactive thrombocytosis. Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/hematology-and-oncology/myeloproliferative-disorders/reactive-thrombocytosis-secondary-thrombocythemia. Accessed June 16, 2015.
- Sulai NH, et al. Why does my patient have thrombocytosis? Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America. 2012;26:285.
- Kitchens CS, et al. Thrombocytosis. In: Consultative Hemostasis and Thrombosis. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 16, 2015.
- Mesa RA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz. June 22, 2015.