Platelet Function Tests

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Platelets are small, round cellular fragments that are vital for normal blood clotting. Platelet function tests (PFT) indirectly evaluate how well a person’s platelets work in helping to stop bleeding within the body.

Why Get Tested?

The purposes of platelet function tests are to:

  • Help determine the cause of or potential for excessive bleeding;
  • Diagnose a platelet function disorder;
  • Monitor and evaluate platelet function;
  • Monitor the presence and effectiveness of anti-platelet medications

What does the test result mean?

The interpretation of the results depends on why to take the tests.

For excessive bleeding or the potential for bleeding during surgery, abnormal results may indicate the presence of a platelet disorder.

Testing for coagulation factor deficiencies or abnormalities, there my be an inherited disorder or acquired condition may be the cause of the dysfunction.

Examples of inherited platelet function disorders include:

  • Von Willebrand disease
  • Glanzmann’s thrombasthenia
  • Bernard-Soulier syndrome
  • Storage pool disease

Chronic acquired platelet dysfunction may include:

  • Kidney failure (uremia)
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
  • Certain leukemias

Some temporary acquired platelet disorders include:

  • Decreased function due to medications like aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Abnormal function after prolonged cardiac bypass surgery

keywords: Platelet Function Tests; PFT

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