A Case of Chronic Thrombocytopenia in a 17-Year-Old Female

Roger Riley, MD, PhD; Asad Khan, MD; Shella Pai, MS, SH(ASCP); Laura Warmke, MD; Marcus Winkler, MD; William Gunning, PhD


Lab Med. 2019;50(4):406-420. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Storage pool deficiency (SPD) is a group of rare platelet disorders that result from deficiencies in α-granules, δ-granules, or both. One type of α-SPD is gray platelet syndrome (GPS), caused by mutations in the neurobeachin-like 2 (NBEAL2) gene that results in a bleeding diathesis, thrombocytopenia, splenomegaly, and progressive myelofibrosis. Due to the lack of α-granules, platelets have a gray and degranulated appearance by light microscopy. However, definitive diagnosis of GPS requires confirmation of α-granule deficiency by electron microscopy. Treatment is nonspecific, with the conservative utilization of platelet transfusions being the most important form of therapy. We present a case of a 17-year-old female with a past medical history of thrombocytopenia, first identified at the age of five. Her clinical symptomatology included chronic fatigue, gingival bleeding, bruising, menorrhagia, and leg pain. This report will discuss both the clinical and the pathophysiologic aspects of this rare platelet disorder.