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Viral Hepatitis and Liver Disease

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Platelets: Liver Function Test

for Veterans and the Public

Platelets - Hepatitis C for Patients

Platelets are cells that help the blood to form clots. The platelet number or "platelet count" in the blood is measured as part of the complete blood count (CBC).

Explanation of test results:

Platelet counts in a patient who has cirrhosis are often low. But low platelet counts can also come from other causes, including certain medications. Interferon treatment can reduce platelet counts. When the platelet count is extremely reduced, this condition is known as "thrombocytopenia." If a platelet count is too low, the patient cannot make normal clots and may bruise more easily.

Other things to know:

  • If the platelet count drops too low (below 50,000, for example) when a patient is receiving interferon, doctors may recommend that the interferon dosage be reduced.