Extreme thrombocytosis in a patient with ruptured colon cancer and iron deficiency anemia

Chi Cheng Li, Tony Guu, Tso Fu Wang, Ruey Ho Kao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Extreme thrombocytosis defined as a platelet count exceeding 1000∓103/μL was most often thought to be due to clonal myeloproliferative disorders. Here we report a case of extreme thrombocytosis in a patient with colon cancer who had no evidence of myeloproliferative disorders. This 59-year-old woman presented with abdominal pain and extreme thrombocytosis of 1726 × 103/ μL. Investigations disclosed recto-sigmoid cancer and iron deficiency anemia. Surgical exploration revealed the recto-sigmoid cancer was ruptured with surrounding abscess formation. Bone marrow examination showed no evidence of clonal myeloproliferative disorders. The platelet count returned to the normal range after surgical resection of the primary tumor and resolution of the abscess and the iron deficiency anemia. Eight months later, evidence of progression of multiple liver metastases was found, again accompanied by elevation of the platelet count to 639 × 103/μL. After successful salvage chemotherapy with oxaliplatin plus high dose 5-FU and leucovorin, the platelet count returned to normal. We conclude that the combined effects of malignancy, abscess formation and iron deficiency contributed to the extreme thrombocytosis in this case. We suggest that a search for secondary causes is still required for a patient with a platelet count exceeding 1000 × 103/μL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-264
Number of pages6
JournalTzu Chi Medical Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Colon cancer
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Thrombocytosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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