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Clinical significance of simultaneous measurement of reticulated platelets and large platelets in idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura

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Frequencies of reticulated platelets (RP) and large platelets (LP) among circulating platelets can now be simultaneously determined using the R-3000 automated reticulocyte counter (Sysmex, Kobe, Japan) equipped with special software. We measured frequencies of RP and LP in patients with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP, acute type n = 5; chronic type n = 39), and healthy normal controls (n = 20). In ITP patients, the platelet-associated IgG (PAIgG) level was also determined. Both RP and LP were significantly higher in chronic ITP patients than those in normal volunteers, and interestingly, the LP in acute ITP was significantly lower than that in chronic ITP although there was no significant difference in RP between acute and chronic ITP. Furthermore, we analyzed the changes in both RP and LP during the clinical course of ITP to monitor the therapeutic effect in 2 patients. An elevation of RP with a steep slope prior to a decrease in the platelet count level was observed. The RP significantly correlated with the PAIgG level. Simultaneous measurement of RP and LP may be helpful for the diagnosis of chronic ITP, for the differentiation of acute from chronic type and for the control of the efficacy of management in ITP, since RP seems to reflect the disease activity of ITP.


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