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Pediatric Thrombocytosis Medication

  • Author: Susumu Inoue, MD; Chief Editor: Max J Coppes, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
 
Updated: Mar 31, 2014
 

Medication Summary

In a child with reactive thrombocytosis, drug therapy is not required. Thrombohemorrhagic complications are exceedingly rare. To date, no studies have demonstrated a benefit of prophylactic use of antithrombotic or antiplatelet agents. In general, use of these drugs is not warranted. One exception in which antithrombotic or antiplatelet drugs should be used is for Kawasaki syndrome. A clear guideline for aspirin use with this syndrome has been established (see Kawasaki Disease).

Symptomatic patients with essential thrombocytosis (ET) should receive treatment to lower their platelet count. For pediatric use, anagrelide or hydroxyurea is recommended. In a study by Harrison et al, adult patients (median age, about 60 y) were randomly assigned to receive low-dose aspirin plus hydroxyurea or anagrelide.[44] Significantly more patients in the anagrelide arm than in the hydroxyurea arm reached the study endpoint. The authors concluded that hydroxyurea plus aspirin was more effective than anagrelide plus aspirin in preventing complications in adults with ET.

Radioactive phosphorus should not be used for young patients because of its carcinogenic potential.

Use of pharmacologic agents to prevent thrombotic complications in primary or ET is controversial, even in the internal medicine literature, because no laboratory studies offer predictive value in terms of the risk of thrombosis or hemorrhage. Tefferi et al recommend their use in only patients older than 60 years, individuals with a history of thrombosis, or persons with cardiovascular risk factors, virtually eliminating pediatric patients.[45]

Patients who do develop a thrombus should be treated appropriately (see Thromboembolism).

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Agents to reduce platelet count and reduce platelet function

Class Summary

These agents are used to treat thrombotic complications and to prevent thrombosis (in some cases) in patients with an established diagnosis of ET.

Anagrelide (Agrylin)

 

Specifically lowers platelet count, presumably by reducing megakaryocyte size and ploidy. Not FDA approved for use in patients < 16 y, but a small number of pediatric patients have been treated without significant adverse effects. Long-term adverse effects totally unknown; therefore, clearly positive benefit-risk ratio must be shown before administering drug to any child.

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Cytoreductive agents

Class Summary

These agents should be used only in patients with thrombotic complications (or in some in need of prevention of thrombosis) with an established diagnosis of primary thrombocythemia.

Hydroxyurea (Hydrea)

 

Inhibits DNA synthesis (RNA reductase inhibitor), reducing all 3 blood cell counts.

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Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Susumu Inoue, MD Professor of Pediatrics and Human Development, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine; Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Wayne State University School of Medicine; Director of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Associate Director of Pediatric Education, Department of Pediatrics, Hurley Medical Center

Susumu Inoue, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Hematology, American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Society for Pediatric Research

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Mary L Windle, PharmD Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

James L Harper, MD Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology/Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, Associate Chairman for Education, Department of Pediatrics, University of Nebraska Medical Center; Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Creighton University School of Medicine; Director, Continuing Medical Education, Children's Memorial Hospital; Pediatric Director, Nebraska Regional Hemophilia Treatment Center

James L Harper, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, American Federation for Clinical Research, Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics, Hemophilia and Thrombosis Research Society, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association for Cancer Research, American Society of Hematology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Max J Coppes, MD, PhD, MBA Executive Vice President, Chief Medical and Academic Officer, Renown Heath

Max J Coppes, MD, PhD, MBA is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Healthcare Executives, American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Society for Pediatric Research

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

J Martin Johnston, MD Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Mercer University School of Medicine; Director of Hematology/Oncology, The Children's Hospital at Memorial University Medical Center; Consulting Oncologist/Hematologist, St Damien's Pediatric Hospital

J Martin Johnston, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, International Society of Paediatric Oncology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Algorithm for thrombocytosis workup and potential need for medication.
 
 
 
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