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Is a High Platelet Count Common With Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Platelet Count Elevated in Certain Inflammatory Conditions

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Updated June 20, 2014

Question: Is a High Platelet Count Common With Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Answer: Platelets are often elevated in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The major target organ for this disease is the joint. There, enhanced local inflammation occurs, involving blood cells including neutrophils and macrophages. These cells also stimulate the production of platelet activating factor, which in turn causes accumulation of blood platelets, allowing them to also participate in the inflammatory reaction. Platelets are elevated not only in RA, but also in other similar inflammatory conditions.

Answer provided by the late Dr. Raymond Federman, a respected rheumatologist.

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