THE PURPOSE of this report is to present data on six cases of infection with gram-negative bacteria in which platelet counts and white blood cell and differential counts of peripheral blood were followed frequently throughout the hospital course and afterwards when possible. These data suggest that thrombocytopenia has not received sufficient emphasis as a sign and possible complication of infection with gram-negative bacteria.1,2
Not only was thrombocytopenia a good index of continuing sepsis in these cases, but it also often persisted after an initial granulocytopenic phase had progressed to granulocytosis, sometimes of marked degree. Thus, in our experience, divergence of the granulocyte and platelet count has sometimes suggested gram-negative bacteremic infection. In one case, 51Cr platelet lifespan studies were done during uncontrolled sepsis as well as during the recovery phase. These studies suggested that peripheral platelet destruction may account for the observed thrombocytopenia.
Materials and Methods