Bleeding is not the main clinical issue in many patients with inherited thrombocytopaenias

F. Melazzini, C. Zaninetti, C. L. Balduini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Bleeding diathesis has been considered for a long time the main clinical issue impacting the lives of patients affected by inherited thrombocytopaenias. However, the number of known inherited thrombocytopaenias greatly increased in recent years, and careful evaluation of hundreds of patients affected by these ‘new’ disorders revealed that most of them are at risk of developing additional life-threatening disorders during childhood or adult life. These additional disorders are usually more serious and dangerous than low platelet count. For instance, it is known that mutations in RUNX1, ANKRD26 and ETV6 cause congenital thrombocytopaenia, but we now know that they also predispose to haematological malignancies. Similarly, MYH9 mutations result in congenital thrombocytopaenia and increase the risk of developing kidney failure, cataracts and hearing loss at a later stage, while MPL mutations cause a congenital thrombocytopaenia that almost always evolves into deadly bone marrow failure. Thus, identification of patients with these disorders is essential for evaluation of their prognosis, enabling effective genetic counselling, personalizing follow-up and giving appropriate treatments in case of development of additional diseases. Careful clinical evaluation and peripheral blood film examination are extremely useful tools in guiding the diagnostic process and identifying the candidate genes to be sequenced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-681
Number of pages9
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2017


  • bleeding
  • haematological malignancies
  • inherited thrombocytopaenias
  • platelets
  • predisposing syndromes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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