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Glanzmann thrombasthenia

Glanzmann's disease; Thrombasthenia - Glanzmann

Glanzmann thrombasthenia is a rare disorder of blood platelets. Platelets are a part of the blood that aids in blood clotting.

Causes

Glanzmann thrombasthenia is caused by the lack of a protein that is normally on the surface of platelets. This substance is needed for platelets to clump together to form blood clots.

The condition is congenital, which means it is present from birth. There are several genetic abnormalities that can cause the condition.

Symptoms

Symptoms may include any of the following:

  • Heavy bleeding during and after surgery
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bruising easily
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Nosebleeds that do not stop easily
  • Prolonged bleeding with minor injuries

Exams and Tests

The following tests may be used to diagnose this condition:

Other tests may be needed. Family members may also need to be tested.

Treatment

There is no specific treatment for this disorder. Platelet transfusions may be given to people who are having severe bleeding.

Support Groups

The following organizations are good resources for information on Glanzmann thrombasthenia:

Outlook (Prognosis)

Glanzmann thrombasthenia is a lifelong condition, and there is no cure. You should take special steps to try to avoid bleeding if you have this condition.

Anyone with a bleeding disorder should avoid taking aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen. These drugs can prolong bleeding times by preventing platelets from clumping.

Possible Complications

Complications may include:

  • Severe bleeding
  • Iron deficiency anemia in menstruating women due to abnormally heavy bleeding

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if:

  • You have bleeding or bruising of an unknown cause
  • Bleeding does not stop after usual treatments

Prevention

Glanzmann thrombasthenia is an inherited condition. There is no known prevention.

References

Bhatt MD, Ho K, Chan AKC. Disorders of coagulation in the neonate. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ, Silberstein LE, et al, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 150.

Nichols WL. Von Willebrand disease and hemorrhagic abnormalities of platelet and vascular function. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 173.

Text only

 

Review Date: 1/29/2019

Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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