Hepatitis and Thrombocytopenia (Low Platelet Count)

Hepatitis Patients: Find Out What Thrombocytopenia (Low Platelet Count) Is

Hepatitis and Thrombocytopenia - Types of Blood Cells. Photo © A.D.A.M.

Thrombocytopenia, or low platelet count, is a condition that affects the production of the right amount of platelets your body needs. Low platelet count can be detrimental to the overall health of a hepatitis patient. If the system cannot get the right platelet count, it can be lead to various health conditions that will affect your day-to-day activities. There are actually several reasons why this condition could occur.

They are divided in several sections below, so you can understand more about it.

Decreased Platelet Production

This is associated with a bone marrow problem. In some cases, the white blood cells and red blood cells can also be disturbed. Several forms of viral infection may impact the marrow’s production of platelets, such as that of HIV, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis C, chickenpox (varicella virus), mumps, rubella, and parvovirus. The following are added issues that can arise:

  • Aplastic anemia, or when bone marrow fails to generate any blood cells, whether platelets, white blood cells and red blood cells. This could be caused by certain viral infections (HIV or parvovirus), medications (valproate, phenytoin, and chloramphenicol), radiation, or Fanconi’s anemia.
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Certain drugs, such as thiazide diuretics
  • Bone marrow cancer, leukemia or lymphoma
  • Alcoholism
  • Deficiency of vitamin B12 and folic acid

    The Bona-Fide Connection between Hepatitis and Thrombocytopenia

    The development of thrombocytopenia in an individual suffering of chronic hepatitis C can be instigated by several factors, such as the inhibition of bone marrow, which in turn condenses the production of the liver’s natural agent to maintain strong immunity against certain conditions.

    Clinical variables such as gender, age, severity of hepatitis, as well as the level of viremia (how much of the virus is setting up shop in your blood) can also have a sway on the decline of platelets. This is because the condition may vary from one person to another. According to research done by experts, people who suffer from chronic hepatitis C have a higher chance of developing thrombocytopenia as their condition continues to deteriorate due to their hepatitis.

    Thrombocytopenia is considered one of the most common issues in people who are suffering from hepatitis infections in general. Additionally, multiple studies have clearly shown an increase in the production of platelets after inflexible hepatitis treatment, which supports the purported relationship between these two. All the more, several therapeutic strategies have also been attempted in the past to effectively treat hepatitis-related thrombocytopenia, such as splenectomy, administering of immunoglobulin intravenously, oral steroids, and interferon dose cutbacks.

    However, the rate of success varies from one case to another. That is why experts are doing whatever they can in order to determine the right treatment methods to help in alleviating the condition. Typically, hepatitis is without any alarming symptoms at all, but as the condition advances, signs will surely emerge. Doctors keep an eye out for these symptoms to be able to advise the patient with treatment and to establish what type of hepatitis it really is; different categories may require different treatments.

    A Word or Few about Bleeding and Hepatitis

    Bleeding is one of the common symptoms of thrombocytopenia. This could pertain to bleeding from the nose or gums. Women with thrombocytopenia might also have a longer or heavier period of bleeding. It may also appear in one’s urine or stool. Thrombocytopenia symptoms on the skin should also be monitored. Flat and red spots may appear on the skin, but they may only be the size of a pinhead. It is usually found on the feet or legs, and they may possibly appear in clumps. Physicians call the condition petechiae, whether it is found in a hepatitis patient or not.

    Bruises and blotches are also some common symptoms of this illness. Hepatitis sufferers may have large areas in their legs that bleed under the skin. They will not turn white when you press them like they would under normal circumstances. Instead, bruises may appear as if you’d been hit unexpectedly by an object. The color can be purple or blue, and can change to green or yellow eventually. The difference here is it can originate from the inside of your body rather than just the outside, which is normally the case for bruises. In conclusion, since the relationship of hepatitis and thrombocytopenia is very close, it is imperative for you to find the right diagnosis, as this is the only way to secure spot-on treatment for thrombocytopenia.


    Olariu M, Olariu C, Olteanu D. Thrombocytopenia in chronic hepatitis C. J Gastrointestin Liver Dis. 2010 Dec;19(4):381-5.

    Weksler BB. Review article: the pathophysiology of thrombocytopenia in hepatitis C virus infection and chronic liver disease. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Nov;26 Suppl 1:13-9.

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