How do platelet disorders occur?

Updated: Nov 30, 2019
  • Author: Perumal Thiagarajan, MD; Chief Editor: Srikanth Nagalla, MBBS, MS, FACP  more...
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The platelet GP IIb/IIIa complex mediates platelet-to-platelet interactions (platelet aggregation). On resting platelets, GP IIb/IIIa is unable to bind fibrinogen or vWf. Platelet activation allows binding of these proteins, which bridges adjacent platelets. Morphologically, the platelets change dramatically from discs to spiny spheres in a process called shape change.

Platelets contain two unique types of granules: alpha granules and dense granules. The alpha granules contain hemostatic proteins such as fibrinogen, vWf, and growth factors (eg, platelet-derived growth factor). The dense granules contain proaggregatory factors such as adenosine 5'-diphosphate (ADP), calcium, and 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin). During activation, the granules are centralized and their contents are discharged into the lumen of the open canalicular system, from which they are then released to the exterior (the release reaction).

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