The cause of high platelets

Updated February 21, 2017

High platelet counts within the blood are a medical condition that is commonly known as thrombocytosis, or reactive thrombocytosis. Platelets are also known as thrombocytes. Platelets are actively involved in blood clotting. Adults and children alike can be affected by high platelet counts. In many cases, this medical condition arises due to an underlying disorder.


Some common causes of high platelet levels in the blood include the elimination of the spleen (generally due to removal surgery), iron-deficiency anaemia, medication reactions, cancer, hemolytic anaemia, and infectious or inflammatory disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease, connective tissue problems, as well as tuberculosis.

Short-Term Causes

There are also several factors that are possible causes for high platelet levels that are short-lived. These different conditions are acute inflammation or infection, recovering from an extreme blood loss, recovering from extremely low levels of blood platelets due to extreme alcohol consumption and deficiencies of folate or Vitamin B12, and reactions to vigorous physical activity.

Medical Conditions

High platelet counts often occur due to an underlying medical condition. Many people with thrombocytosis also have cancer, especially ovarian gastrointestinal, ovarian and lymphoma. In many cases, high platelet counts are considered to be an initial cancerous sign.


Some people might be at a significantly higher risk of developing high platelet levels within the blood. These people include those who have recently undergone any type of surgical procedure, and those who have iron-deficiency anaemia.


There are no real signs or symptoms that are commonly associated with high platelet levels. As a result, most people are generally unaware of this medical condition until they undergo a blood test. It is important to receive these regular tests, as high platelet counts can sometimes be a sign of a serious medical condition, such as thrombocythemia (a disorder of the bone marrow).

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author