, Volume 58, Issue 2, pp 299-301

Thrombocytopenia in Patients with Chronic Liver Disease: What’s in a Name?

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Thrombocytopenia is likely the most common haematological alteration that can be observed in patients affected by chronic liver disease [1]. In compensated cirrhosis, it is the most prevalent and incident peripheral blood cytopenia; in chronic hepatitis C patients, thrombocytopenia represents an obstacle to antiviral therapy in 6.5 % of patients who are otherwise good candidates for interferon treatment [2, 3]. Furthermore, besides being the hallmark of a possible increased risk of bleeding, thrombocytopenia has several diagnostic and prognostic meanings [4, 5]. This versatile use of platelet count and thrombocytopenia is supported by the multi-faceted etiology of decreased platelet count in chronic liver disease patients [1, 5]. Indeed, the platelet count is incorporated into numerous diagnostic algorithms aimed at non-invasively assessing the severity of chronic liver diseases and features of portal hypertension, can be used to pinpoint patients at higher risk of developing hepatocel