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Hermos J.A.,Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiologic Research and Information Center | Hermos J.A.,Boston University | Altincatal A.,Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiologic Research and Information Center | Christian Weber H.,Boston University | And 8 more authors.
Digestive Diseases and Sciences | Year: 2013

Background: Thrombocytopenia in chronic liver disease (CLD) typically reflects disease severity and may indicate an increased risk for bleeding. Aims: To describe the longitudinal course of thrombocytopenia and risks for bleeding in veteran patients with non-hepatitis C-related CLD. Methods: We identified 2,349 patients with non-hepatitis C-related CLD from databases of the New England Veterans Healthcare System between 1999 and 2008. The cohort was stratified by baseline platelet counts of <50,000, 50-100,000, > 100,000-150,000, and >150,000/μl. Primary outcomes were the incidence and hazard rates for bleeding episodes requiring hospitalization and incident severe thrombocytopenia (<50,000/μl). Results: Over a median follow-up of 3.3 years (IQR 1.2, 6.3), incident major bleeds, predominantly gastrointestinal, occurred in 254 patients (10.8 % of the cohort) and in 19.9 % of those with baseline platelets <50,000/μl. Incident severe thrombocytopenia occurred in 315 patients (13.4 % of cohort) and in 40.7 % of those with baseline platelet counts between 50,000 and 100,000/μl. Baseline platelet counts between 50,000 and 100,000/μl independently predicted bleeding [adjusted HR 2.89 (1.76, 4.73) p < 0.001] as did esophageal varices, hemoglobin ≤9.9 g %, and INR 1.4-2.0. Incident severe thrombocytopenia and minimum platelet counts <25,000/μl each associated with bleeding episodes, but the average of minimum platelet counts recorded for those who bled was 76,000/μl. Conclusions: Among veteran patients with non-hepatitis C-related CLD, baseline platelet counts of 50,000 to 100,000/μl increased subsequent risks for both incident severe thrombocytopenia and major bleeding events. Whereas associations between severe thrombocytopenia and bleeding most likely reflect CLD severity, liver-related coagulopathies, and co-morbid bleeding risks, interventions to enhance platelet production may be beneficial for such patients. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (Outside the USA).

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