Abstract

Functional, biochemical, and morphologic platelet abnormalities are reported in four children with the syndrome of albinism, mild bleeding tendency, prolonged bleeding time, and normal platelet count. In these children, primary platelet aggregation with adenosine diphosphate occurred normally, but secondary aggregation was impaired. Collagen and norepinephrine produced almost no platelet aggregation. Platelet content of serotonin (5-HT) was markedly reduced, and uptake and retention of 5-HT by the platelets in vivo and in vitro was poor. In one child who was given a tryptophan load, urinary tryptophan metabolites were normal, suggesting that there was no evidence of a block in the 5-HT synthetic pathway in the gastrointestinal tract. Electron microscopy revealed an absence of densely osmophilic granules in 5-HT poor platelets. Platelets from other albinos with no history of bleeding contained normal amounts of 5-HT and densely osmophilic granules.

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