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Authors: Francesco Dima, Gian Luca Salvagno, Elisa Danese, Dino Veneri and Giuseppe Lippi

Background

Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)-dependent pseudothrombocytopenia is a rare phenomenon. Spurious pseudothrombocytopenia has also been described in other circumstances, while artifactual platelet count in whole blood samples anticoagulated with sodium citrate is an exceptional occurrence.

Case report

In this study, we describe the case of a 44-year-old ostensibly healthy woman who attended the local outpatient clinic for routine laboratory testing, including platelet count in EDTA and sodium citrate, for suspected artifactual pseudothrombocytopenia previously identified in another center. The results of hematological testing on both specimens were essentially normal, except for mild anemia. Nevertheless, the platelet number was 425 × 109/L in K2EDTA and 266 × 109/L (293 × 109/L after correcting for sample dilution) in sodium citrate, respectively. Microscopic revision of blood smears revealed the presence of platelet aggregates and satellitism only in the sodium citrate specimen.

Conclusion

Unlike previous occasional reports of concomitant EDTA- and sodium citrate-dependent pseudothrombocytopenia, we first describe a paradigmatic case of artifactual platelet count attributable to platelet clumping and satellitism, exclusively developing in blood anticoagulated with sodium citrate.

Open access