Thrombocytopenia and its effect on mortality and morbidity in the intensive care unit



APACHE II, Intensive care, mortality, sepsis, thrombocytopenia


Background/Aim: Thrombocytopenia is a common hematological abnormality among patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). The development of thrombocytopenia in the ICU usually indicates severe organ system dysfunction rather than a primary hematological disorder. We aimed to determine the incidence, causes, and clinical results of thrombocytopenia in patients followed up in ICU. Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, 165 patients who were followed up in the ICU with thrombocyte counts below 150,000 /uL were included and causes of thrombocytopenia, along with its effects on mortality and intensive care stay were investigated. Results: Thrombocytopenia was determined in 30.1% of the patients in the ICU. The cause of thrombocytopenia was sepsis in 33 (20.0%) of the patients and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) in 20 (12.1%) patients. During the study period, 115 (69.7%) of 165 thrombocytopenic patients and 173 (45.1%) of 383 patients without thrombocytopenia died. Mortality was significantly higher in patients with thrombocytopenia. Mortality significantly increased when platelet count decreased, even with similar APACHE II scores. Conclusion: The most common causes of thrombocytopenia in the ICU were sepsis and DIC. Thrombocytopenia is common in the ICU and increases mortality rates.


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Ilkhan G, Celikhisar H. Thrombocytopenia and its effect on mortality and morbidity in the intensive care unit. J Surg Med [Internet]. 2021 Jan. 1 [cited 2024 Jun. 19];5(1):31-5. Available from: