(Reactive Thrombocytosis )
Secondary thrombocythemia is a disorder that causes production of excess platelets, leading to abnormal blood clotting or bleeding.
Production of excess platelets (thrombocythemia) can occur without any known cause (called essential or primary thrombocythemia). Thrombocythemia can also be caused by another disorder. When thrombocythemia is caused by such an underlying disorder, the thrombocythemia is called secondary thrombocythemia (or reactive thrombocytosis).
Causes of secondary thrombocythemia include
People with secondary thrombocythemia may have no symptoms related to the high number of platelets. Symptoms of the underlying condition usually dominate. When symptoms due to a high number of platelets do occur, they are similar to those of primary thrombocythemia. Symptoms include
Redness, warmth, and burning pain of the hands and feet
Tingling and other abnormal sensations in the fingertips, hands, and feet
Loss of vision or seeing spots
Bleeding, usually mild (such as nosebleeds, easy bruising, slight oozing from the gums, or bleeding in the digestive tract)
The spleen and liver may enlarge. Abnormal bleeding and clotting are usually not a concern with reactive or secondary platelet count elevations.
Secondary thrombocythemia is diagnosed—and distinguished from primary thrombocythemia—when people with high platelet counts have a condition that readily accounts for the high number of platelets. To identify possible causes, doctors do blood tests, sometimes including genetic testing, and occasionally a bone marrow biopsy. Other tests such as radiologic tests may be needed to ascertain the cause of the platelet elevation.
Treatment is aimed at the cause of the elevation. If the treatment is successful, the platelet count usually returns to normal.