Key references and resources discussed in the episode:
Key take-home points from the episode:
- Thrombocytosis is generally defined as a raised platelet count >400–450 x 109/L.
- Thrombocytosis is a common incidental finding, occurring in approximately 2% of those >40 years old attending primary care.
- 80–90% of episodes are reactive and 80% resolve within 12 weeks.
- Thrombocytosis should not be used as a standalone diagnostic or screening test for cancer or to rule out cancer.
- However, unexplained thrombocytosis should prompt us to “think cancer”.
- NICE NG12 and Scottish Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancer inform us that thrombocytosis is a risk marker for some solid tumour malignancies.
- The Scottish referral guidelines include thrombocytosis in the investigation criteria for LEGO-C cancers: Lung, Endometrial, Gastric, Oesophageal and C
- Suggested quality improvement activities:
- Consider how you would respond to an incidental thrombocytosis on a full blood count?
- Consider your safety-netting options for those found to have raised platelet counts but no other symptoms or risk factors for underlying malignancy.