Human thrombocytopenia is associated with structural abnormalities of the endothelium that are ameliorated by glucocorticosteroid administration.


Journal Article

Capillary fragility is characteristic of severe thrombocytopenia. This mechanical weakness may not be solely accounted for by decreased ability of platelets to repair endothelial breaks. Platelets may have a role in maintaining endothelial hemostasis. This laboratory has demonstrated thinning of capillary endothelium in experimental thrombocytopenia. We now report similar findings in human thrombocytopenia. Capillary endothelium supplying either skin or skeletal muscle was found to have a mean thickness only half that of normal as well as frequent very thinned areas, including some fenestrations. All findings reverted toward normal after four days of prednisone administration at a time the degree of thrombocytopenia was equally severe. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that platelets are necessary for normal structure and function of endothelial cells and that glucocorticosteroid administration may ameliorate the pathophysiology of thrombocytopenia.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kitchens, CS; Pendergast, JF

Published Date

  • January 1, 1986

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 67 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 203 - 206

PubMed ID

  • 3940548

Pubmed Central ID

  • 3940548

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0006-4971


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States