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Platelet and White Cell Disorders

Guiding patient care and treatment through innovative laboratory medicine.

Health conditions that create abnormally high or low platelet or other blood cell numbers may cause specific symptoms, depending on the type of cell involved and the underlying cause. However, some of these conditions may not cause any symptoms and are discovered during a patient’s routine blood testing. Regardless of cell type involved and symptoms, it is generally recommended that patients who have abnormal blood cell counts be evaluated to discover the cause so they can receive appropriate therapy, if needed.

Health Condition Causes

  • Low blood cell counts

    Disorders with low numbers of blood cells can be due to increased destruction of cells after they are produced, or decreased production of cells by bone marrow. Increased blood cell destruction can be caused by immune mechanisms, such as autoimmunity or drug-induced immunity, in which the body produces antibodies that attack blood cells. It can also occur when blood cells are consumed during severe infections or uncontrolled clotting.

  • High blood cell counts

    Abnormally high blood cell numbers can occur when the body reacts to unusual stress, such as chronic infection that produces high numbers of platelets. Unusually, high blood cell numbers can also occur when normal regulatory mechanisms for blood cell production and destruction are damaged (e.g., the high numbers of white blood cells that occur with chronic leukemia).

  • Red blood cell disorders

    Conditions involving low numbers of red blood cells (RBCs) include anemia due to nutritional deficiencies (iron, vitamin B12 or folate), increased red cell destruction due to autoantibodies (hemolytic anemia), and anemia or inflammation or chronic disease (as seen in kidney failure), among other disorders with low RBC levels. The Benign Hematology Clinic also assists in diagnoses and treatment recommendations for patients with abnormally high levels of RBCs (polycythemia).

  • White blood cell disorders

    Low white blood cell (WBC) counts occur in conditions such as autoimmune neutropenia, drug-induced neutropenia or myelodysplasia. High WBC counts often occur in conditions such as chronic inflammation or myeloproliferative disorders.

  • Platelet disorders

    Low numbers of platelets can be evident in disorders like immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). Conditions associated with high platelet counts can include reactive thrombocytosis or essential thrombocythemia.

    These health conditions may cause specific symptoms, depending on the type of cell involved and the underlying cause. However, some of these conditions may not cause any symptoms and are discovered during routine blood testing. Regardless of cell type and presence or absence of symptoms, it is generally recommended that patients who have abnormal blood cell counts be evaluated to discover the cause so they can receive appropriate therapy, if needed.

Contact Us

more information about the Benign Hematology Clinic
(414) 805-0505
Refer your patient
(414) 805-4700
Physician to physician

Benign Hematology Clinic

Versiti, in collaboration with Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), staffs the Benign Hematology Clinic located on the Froedtert/MCW campus. There, our team of physicians and clinical staff evaluates patients with platelet and blood cell disorders who have been referred to the clinic. Together, our experts conduct research and help referring physicians make accurate diagnoses and manage the treatment of these patients. Our physicians and staff work closely with referring physicians to help them diagnose and manage treatment for patients with bleeding and clotting disorders, and conditions causing abnormal blood counts.

Evaluations at the Benign Hematology Clinic begin with referral facilitators, who talk with patients and assess their needs. Our clinical coordinator provides further assistance, and our nurse practitioner collaborates with our physicians to provide patients with the best possible care. Evaluations are performed by Medical Science Institute (MSI) physicians who are ABIM board-certified hematologists with access to a full array of laboratory testing.

Evaluations

Testing is provided by the Diagnostic Reference Laboratories of Versiti and a tertiary medical center laboratory. Versiti’s Diagnostic Labs provide specialized testing for the evaluation of disorders involving abnormal numbers of blood cells, including immune and non-immune disorders of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Evaluations available include:

  • Pancytopenia
  • Leukopenia
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • (Auto) Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP)
  • Drug-induced cytopenias (anemia, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia)
  • Anemia, including iron deficiency, other nutritional anemias and autoimmune hemolytic anemia · Leukocytosis · Thrombocytosis (reactive and essential thrombocythemia) · Polycythemia (suspected primary – PV, and secondary)
  • Myelodysplasia
  • Myeloproliferative disorders (myelofibrosis, polycythemia vera, essential thrombocythemia) · Hematology in pregnancy: gestational thrombocytopenia, ITP
  • Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)

The Benign Hematology team sees patients at the Froedtert and the MCW Clinical Cancer Center in the multidisciplinary clinics: life quadrant, second floor. NOTE: Please notify your patients that while our clinic is located within the Clinical Cancer Center, that does not mean they have a cancer diagnosis.

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