Journal of Medical Academics

Register      Login

VOLUME 6 , ISSUE 1 ( January-June, 2023 ) > List of Articles


Platelet Satellitism: A Rare In Vitro Phenomenon Causing Spurious Thrombocytopenia

Sharmila Dudani

Keywords : Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, Thrombocytopenia, White blood cells

Citation Information : Dudani S. Platelet Satellitism: A Rare In Vitro Phenomenon Causing Spurious Thrombocytopenia. Journal of Medical Academics 2023; 6 (1):31-32.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-11003-0123

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 28-06-2023

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2023; The Author(s).


Platelet satellitism is the adherence of platelets around leukocytes (mainly neutrophils, but occasionally seen around lymphocytes and monocytes). It is a rare and important in vitro cause of spurious thrombocytopenia and may lead to unnecessary further investigations in patients. It usually occurs with ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) anticoagulated blood and is not seen with other anticoagulants. It may be seen in a variety of diseases as well as in normal individuals. Both immunological and nonimmunological mechanisms are believed to play a role. Platelet morphology and function are usually normal. We report a case of a 34-year-old female who underwent a complete blood count (CBC) as a part of a routine health checkup. As platelet satellitism was recognized on examining the peripheral smears, it highlights the importance of the same for confirmation.

  1. Chakrabarti I. Platelet satellitism: a rare, interesting, in vitro phenomenon. Indian J Hematol Blood Transfu 2014;30(6):213–214. DOI: 10.1007/s12288-013-0247-2
  2. Bizzaro N, Goldschmeding R, von dem Borne AE. Platelet satellitism is Fc gamma RIII (CD16) receptor-mediated. Am J Clin Pathol 1995;103(6):740–744. DOI: 10.1093/ajcp/103.6.740
  3. Christopoulos C, Mattock C. Platelet satellitism and alpha granule proteins. J Clin Pathol 1991;44(9):788–789. DOI: 10.1136/jcp.44.9.788
  4. Field EJ, Macleod I. Platelet adherence to polymorphs. Br Med J 1963;2(5353):388–389. PMC: 1872497.
  5. Hernández-Chavarría F, Vega B. Is platelet satellitism an infrequent phenomenon? Rev Biomed 2004;15(2):137–138.
  6. Sakurai S, Tanigawa T, Nakahara K, et al. [Effects of kanamycin on platelet satellitism and leukocyte adhesion phenomena]. Rinsho Byori 1995;43(2):142–148. PMID: 7699928.
  7. Español I, Muñiz-Diaz E, Domingo-Clarós A. The irreplaceable image: Platelet satellitism to granulated lymphocytes. Haematologica 2000;85(12):1322.
  8. Vidranski V, Laskaj R, Sikiric D, Skerk V. Platelet satellitism in infectious disease. Biochem Med 2015;25(2):285–294. DOI: 10.11613/BM.2015.030
  9. Lorubbio M, Ognibene A. Isolated case of platelet satellitism around white blood cells and phagocytosis by neutrophils and monocytes. Pract Lab Med 2022;29:e00264. DOI: 10.1016/j.plabm.2022.e00264
  10. Kjeldsberg CR, Swanson J. Platelet satellitism. Blood 1974;43(6):831–836. PMID: 4208779.
PDF Share
PDF Share

© Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD.