Evaluation of platelet kinetics in patients with liver cirrhosis: Similarity to idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura

Mikio Kajihara, Yuka Okazaki, Shinzo Kato, Hiromasa Ishii, Yutaka Kawakami, Yasuo Ikeda, Masataka Kuwana

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58 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Thrombocytopenia is a common manifestation of liver cirrhosis (LC), but its underlying mechanism is not fully understood. The purpose of the present paper was to evaluate the platelet kinetics in LC patients by examining several non-invasive convenient markers. Methods: Fifty-seven LC patients, 32 patients with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), 12 with aplastic anemia (AA), and 29 healthy individuals were studied. Plasma thrombopoietin was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Absolute reticulated platelet (RP) count and plasma glycocalicin were used as indices for thrombopoiesis, and the indices for platelet turnover were the RP proportion and the plasma glycocalicin normalized to the individual platelet count (GCI). Results: There was no difference in thrombopoietin levels between LC patients and healthy controls. The RP proportion and GCI were significantly higher and the absolute RP count and glycocalicin significantly lower in LC patients than in healthy controls. These markers in ITP and LC patients were comparable, but significantly different from those in AA patients. The bone marrow megakaryocyte density in LC and ITP patients was similar, and significantly higher than in AA patients. Conclusions: Cirrhotic thrombocytopenia is a multifactorial condition involving accelerated platelet turnover and moderately impaired thrombopoiesis. Thrombopoietin deficiency is unlikely to be the primary contributor to cirrhotic thrombocytopenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-118
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jan
Externally publishedYes


  • Glycocalicin
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Platelet kinetics
  • Reticulated platelet
  • Thrombopoietin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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