Thrombocytopenia can be caused by many things for a patient in the intensive care unit (ICU).



(1) sepsis, especially with Gram-negative bacteria

(2) HIV

(3) other infections



(1) disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)

(2) thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP)

(3) hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS)


Drug or chemical induced:

(1) GPIIb/IIIa inhibitor therapy

(2) therapy with a thrombolytic agent

(3) therapy with adenosine diphosphate (ADP) receptor antagonist

(4) heparin-associated

(5) acute alcohol toxicity

(6) cancer therapy (chemoradiation)

(7) antibiotics



(1) post-cardiopulmonary bypass

(2) intravascular device (ECMO, intra-aortic balloon mump, left ventricular assist device, etc)

(3) renal dialysis

(4) mechanical heart valve



(1) immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)

(2) antiphospholipid antibodies

(3) post-transfusion purpura



(1) hemodilution or massive transfusion

(2) hypersplenism

(3) myelodysplasia

(4) hypoplastic or aplastic bone marrow

(5) diabetic ketoacidosis

(6) pulmonary embolism

(7) hereditary thrombocytopenia


In vitro (pseudothrombocytopenia:

(1) clotted specimen

(2) EDTA-dependent platelet antibodies


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