Acute thrombotic and hemorrhagic manifestations of thrombocytosis associated with myeloproliferative disorders may be life threatening. Conventional therapy with radioisotopes and/or cytotoxic drugs may require weeks for effective control of platelet counts. In five patients, plateletpheresis by discontinuous-flow (Haemonetics) or continuous-flow (Aminco Celltrifuge) centrifugation was used as a means of reducing platelet counts acutely. With each procedure, approximately 2–9 X 10(12) platelets were removed, resulting in decrements in platelet counts and relief of symptoms. Plateletpheresis is a useful and safe acute means of controlling platelet counts in myeloproliferative disorders.
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