Optimal - The Blog

November 26, 2022

Platelets Are Not Little Plates

Platelets are small blood cells with a large role in blood clotting and immunity. They are essential to maintaining balance in the body but can become detrimental when they are overactive. 

Under normal circumstances, platelets facilitate blood clotting when needed but also remain on patrol as part of the innate immune system. They are able to recognize and bind bacteria, releasing antimicrobial compounds that help defeat invaders. A deficit of platelets can increase susceptibility to infection and excess bleeding. Low levels are also seen with bone marrow failure, hemorrhage, chemotherapy, lupus, and certain anemias.

However, if platelets become too high or "hyperactive" they can promote excess blood clotting and atherosclerosis. Higher platelet levels may be associated with inflammation, thrombosis, iron-deficiency anemia, and rheumatoid arthritis.

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Tag(s): Biomarkers

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