Platelet (Thrombocyte) count (PLT)

Clinical definition of the platelet count test
The platelet count is a test that determines the number of platelets in your blood. Platelets (thrombocytes) are tiny fragments of cells called megakaryocytes released from the bone marrow that circulate in the blood. They are activated when there is an injury to a blood vessel or tissue. Platelets are sticky and are responsible in the formation of a blood clot. The platelet count is a test that determines the number of platelets in the blood. Decreased number of platelets leads to spontaneous bleeding which could be signs of bleeding disorders or bone marrow diseases such as leukemia.

Why is the platelet count test done?
Platelet count determines the number of platelets present and/or their ability to function correctly in the blood. This test is done to diagnose bleeding disorders or bone marrow diseases and identify the cause of excessive bleeding.

What are the common signs/symptoms when the platelet count test is done?

  • Fever
  • Weakness, fatigue, and pallor due to anemia
  • Weight loss
  • Swollen lymph nodes, liver, spleen, kidneys, and testicles
  • Bleeding and bruising
  • Night sweats
  • Bone and joint pain
  • Frequent infections
  • Headaches, vomiting, confusion, and seizures (may occur when cells are increased in the brain or central nervous system)
  • Nosebleeds
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bruising
  • Heavy menstrual period
  • Blood in the stool and/or urine to arthritic-type symptoms (damage from bleeding into joints)
  • Loss of vision
  • Chronic anemia

What should I do before the platelet count test?

Specimen type

Specimen collection procedure

Preparatory instructions before the test *

Serum (Blood Sample)

Venipuncture - Collection of blood from a vein, usually from the arm

No Fasting required

No other special preparations required.

*Subjects suffering from any illness or on oral or injectable medications are advised to consult their physician prior to requesting any tests or procedures.

How do I interpret my platelet count test results?

Reference Range*


150 to 400 x 103/


*A  reference range is a set of values which helps he healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranfes may also vary between labs, in value and units depending on instruments used and method of establishement of reference ranges’’

Diseases/conditions related to the platelet count test

  • Malaria
  • Dengue
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Bone marrow diseases
  • Leukemia
  • Lupus or idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP)
  • Myeloproliferative disorder. 
  • Down syndrome
  • Polycythemia Vera
  • Early chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML)
  • Anemia
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)
  • Hypersplenism

Other tests related to the platelet count test

  • CBC
  • Platelet aggregation

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Platelet Count