Journal of Laboratory Medicine
AbstractBackgroundThe examination of a peripheral blood smear is mandatory in case of unexplained thrombocytopenia or thrombocytosis. First, the number of platelets should be estimated in order to confirm the platelet count determined by the haematology analyser, and to rule out causes of spuriously low or elevated platelet counts. Second, the size and morphological features of the platelets, which may provide information on the underlying cause of the low or enhanced platelet count, have to be
... t count, have to be assessed.ContentThis review summarizes the physiological and pathological features of platelet size and morphology, circulating megakaryocytes, micromegakaryocytes and megakaryoblasts, and provides an overview of current guidelines on the reporting of platelet morphology.SummaryIn the diagnostic work-up of a patient with thrombocytopenia, the size of the platelets is of diagnostic relevance. Thrombocytopenia with small platelets is suggestive of a defect in platelet production, whereas the presence of large platelets is more likely to be associated with enhanced platelet turnover or hereditary thrombocytopenias. Morphological platelet abnormalities may affect the granulation and the shape and are frequently associated with abnormalities of platelet size. Platelet anomalies can be found in various haematologic disorders, such as myelodysplastic syndromes, myeloproliferative neoplasms, acute megakaryoblastic leukaemia or hereditary thrombocytopenias.