Thrombocytosis in liver transplant recipients: prevalence, natural history, and impact

Avnish K Seth, Bridget K Gunson, Darius F Mirza, Geoffrey Haydon

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The prevalence, natural history, and implications of reactive thrombocytosis after liver transplantation (LT) are unknown. Prospectively collected data from July 2000 to February 2006 were analyzed. Post-LT thrombocytosis was defined as a platelet count of > 450 x 10(3)/microL lasting for >7 days and starting within 8 weeks of transplantation. In patients who survived >8 weeks, graft and patient outcomes were compared with liver transplant recipients who survived >8 weeks and did not develop any thrombocytosis. Post-LT thrombocytosis was seen in 92 (14.7%) of 627 patients. The median onset was on day 13 (range, days 1-44) and the peak platelet count was seen on day 17 (range, days 3-110). The median duration of thrombocytosis was 25 days (range, 7-1,253 days), with a median peak platelet count of 625 x 10/microL (range, 472-1,381 x 10/microL). Seronegative fulminant hepatic failure was the indication for transplantation in 18% of patients with post-LT thrombocytosis compared with 3% of controls (P < 0.001). There was a lower proportion of patients transplanted for hepatitis C-related cirrhosis in the thrombocytosis group (10% vs. 18%, P = 0.04). The occurrence of hepatic arterial thrombosis was similar in the 2 groups (5% vs. 4%, P = NS). None of the 4 patients with platelet count higher than 1,000 x 10/microL developed thrombotic complications. Post-LT thrombocytosis is more often associated with seronegative fulminant hepatic failure, and there is a negative association with hepatitis C-related cirrhosis. Post-LT thrombocytosis does not increase the risk of hepatic artery thrombosis, and patients without thrombotic complications should not be treated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1598-602
Number of pages5
JournalLiver Transplantation
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007


  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Male
  • Platelet Count
  • Prevalence
  • Thrombocytosis
  • Treatment Outcome


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