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Abnormal platelet kinetics are detected before the occurrence of thrombocytopaenia in HBV-related liver disease



Background & Aims

Thrombocytopaenia is a frequent feature in patients with HBV-related liver disease. Its underlying mechanism is not fully understood. Multiple factors might contribute to the development of thrombocytopaenia. In this study, we investigated the reticulated platelets (RP), glycocalicin (GC), serum thrombopoietin (TPO) and platelet glycoprotein (GP) in different stages of the disease.


One hundred and fourteen patients with HBV-related liver disease (30 with chronic hepatitis B (CHB), 20 patients in Child A without thrombocytopaenia, 19 patients in Child A with thrombocytopaenia, 45 in Child B/C with thrombocytopaenia) and 25 normal controls (NC) were enrolled. Liver cirrhosis (LC) was classified according to modified Child-Turcotte-Pugh (CTP) score. Serum TPO levels and GC were measured by ELISA. RP and platelet glycoprotein (GP) expression were detected by flow cytometry.


The TPO levels of patients with LC were significantly lower than that of controls, even in patients of Child A without thrombocytopaenia group. Serum TPO level was positively correlated (r = 0.65, < 0.01) with serum albumin in Child B/C group. Both the RP percentages and the glycocalicin index (GCI) levels were significantly higher in patients groups including CHB and Child A without thrombocytopaenia than that of normal controls. A negative correlation existed in HBV DNA copies and the GPs% in patients with CHB and Child A without thrombocytopaenia.


Abnormal platelet production, destruction and platelet-specific glycoproteins levels were detected before the occurrence of thrombocytopaenia in HBV-related liver disease, indicating that multiple mechanisms might play roles in thrombocytopaenia in HBV-infected patients.