Thrombocytopenia and bleeding in pediatric oncology patients.

Rachel S. Bercovitz*, Cassandra D. Josephson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Prophylactic platelet transfusions are the standard of care for patients with hypoproliferative thrombocytopenia after receiving chemotherapy or radiation for the treatment of malignancy, for BM replacement by leukemia or solid tumor, or in preparation for a hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.(1) During this time of thrombocytopenia, these patients may receive both prophylactic platelet transfusions, which are given to prevent potentially life-threatening bleeding when a patient's platelet count drops below a predetermined threshold, and therapeutic platelet transfusions, which are given to treat active or recurrent bleeding. In the 1950s, the invention of the plastic blood bag allowed for the production and storage of platelet concentrates,(2) and in the 1960s, it was recognized that prophylactic platelet transfusions effectively reduced hemorrhagic death in patients with newly diagnosed leukemia.(3,4) In 1962, Gaydos published the paper that is frequently credited with the inception of the 20 000/μL platelet transfusion threshold.(5) Despite a half-century of experience with prophylactic platelet transfusions, there are still insufficient data to provide clinicians with evidence-based guidelines specific to pediatric oncology and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) patients.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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