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Semin Perinatol. 1997 Feb;21(1):53-62.

Platelet disorders in newborn infants: diagnosis and management.

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Division of Hematology/Oncology, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.


Platelets are small, disc-shaped, anucleated cells formed by fragmentation of megakaryocytes in the bone marrow. They circulate in blood with a lifespan of 7 to 10 days and, together with fibrin, form hemostatic plugs at sites of vessel injury. Abnormalities of platelets, either quantitative or qualitative, may cause clinically significant bleeding with resultant morbidity and, on occasion, mortality. This review will focus on platelet disorders in neonates, defined as infants of up to 4 months of age. Special emphasis will be given to the physiology of platelet function in healthy and sick newborn infants. The review will be divided into sections as follows: role of platelets in hemostasis, platelet function in newborn infants, quantitative platelet disorders, qualitative platelet disorders, and platelet transfusion therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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