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Gut. 1999 May;44(5):754-8.

Thrombopoietin concentrations are low in patients with cirrhosis and thrombocytopenia and are restored after orthotopic liver transplantation.

Author information

1
Department of Liver Transplantation and Hepatobiliary Medicine, Royal Free Hospital, Pond Street, London NW3 2QG, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Thrombocytopenia in cirrhotic patients may be due to deficient production of thrombopoietin.

AIMS:

To determine the relation between thrombopoietin and thrombocytopenia in cirrhotic patients before and after orthotopic liver transplantation.

METHODS:

Thrombopoietin concentrations and platelet counts were measured in 43 cirrhotic patients and 21 normal controls and serially for 14 days after transplantation in 23/43 patients.

RESULTS:

27 of the 43 patients had thrombocytopenia (platelet count less than 120 x 10(9)/l; group 1) whereas 16 patients had normal platelet count (group 2). Thrombopoietin concentrations were lower in group 1 than in group 2 (92.5 (20.3-286.3) v 226.6 (30.1-848.3) pg/ml, p=0.003) and normal controls (92.5 (20.3-286.3) v 158.3 (22.5-232.9) pg/ml, p=0.028). Post-transplantation thrombopoietin concentrations increased with a peak at day 5. The rise was significant in patients with low pretransplantation platelet count (89.1 (21.29-247.6) to 545.1 (66.2-2569) pg/ml; n=16, p=0.001) but not in those with normal platelet count (262.8 (30.1-848.3) to 315.1 (114-954.6) pg/ml; n=7, p=0.47). No correlation was found pretransplantation between spleen volume and platelet count (r=-0.11, p=0.6) or thrombopoietin concentrations (r=-0.04, p=0.8). However, pretransplantation thrombopoietin concentrations correlated with platelet count (r=0.47, p=0.0015), whereas an inverse correlation was found between peak thrombopoietin concentrations and nadir platelet count (r=-0.41 p=0. 049) post-transplantation.

CONCLUSIONS:

Inadequate thrombopoietin production may contribute to cirrhotic thrombocytopenia. Thrombopoietin production is restored after liver transplantation leading to the resolution of thrombocytopenia.

PMID:
10205219
PMCID:
PMC1727482
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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