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Plateletcrit (PCT) - description and reference ranges

What is it?

Plateletcrit (PCT) is the volume occupied by platelets in the blood as a percentage. Plateletcrit (PCT) is the calculation of volume occupied by platelets in the blood, as a calculation of platelet count (PLT) and mean platelet volume (MPV). Generally, the amount of platelets in the blood is maintained by a consistent rate of old platelets being destroyed and new platelets generated. Genetic and surrounding factors, such as lifestyle and exercise, ethnic origin, age, smoking and alcohol consumption can all affect the PLT, MPV and PCT values. In addition, capillary sample collection may lower the PLT values and consequently MPV and PCT, so we suggest venous samples for the PLT biomarkers.

Reference ranges

If your indicative PCT count is lower than the reference range for our laboratory:

This is also known as thrombocytopenia. Causes of this may include medications, infections, liver disease or some autoimmune conditions.

In rare cases a low PCT can be sign of a blood cancer or other blood disorder.

We would suggest speaking to your GP about the need for further tests.

Because platelets are involved with blood clotting, if your platelets are very low then this can cause easy bruising or bleeding. If you develop these problems then please contact your GP surgery urgently.

If your indicative PCT count is higher than the reference range for our laboratory:

This is also known as thrombocytosis. Thrombocytosis often occurs when the body is reacting against something such as infection or bleeing, or during inflammatory conditions such as inflammatory arthritis and, less commonly, cancer.

It can also occur because of iron deficiency and sometimes occurs becuase the body mistakenly over produces platelets (essential thrombocythemia). We would suggest speaking to your GP about the need for further tests.

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