What is Glanzmann thrombasthenia?

Updated: Nov 30, 2019
  • Author: Perumal Thiagarajan, MD; Chief Editor: Srikanth Nagalla, MBBS, MS, FACP  more...
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Glanzmann thrombasthenia results from a deficiency of the GP IIb/IIIa complex. Platelets do not aggregate to any agents except ristocetin. The more severe type I results from a complete absence of the GP IIb/IIIa complex, whereas in the milder type II, some of the GP IIb/IIIa complex is retained.

Both Bernard-Soulier syndrome and Glanzmann thrombasthenia are characterized by lifelong bleeding. Although platelet transfusions are effective, they should be used only for severe bleeding and emergencies, because alloantibodies often develop in these patients.

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