Diagnosing platelet disorders

TEM of platelet

Platelet disorders are frequently overlooked or misdiagnosed and can cause abnormal bleeding or bruising. Dr Tim Brighton from the South Eastern Area Laboratory Services Haematology Unit, at Prince of Wales Hospital wants to diagnose them more accurately, but this is difficult with standard histological techniques. Morphological and ultrastructural examination of platelets with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) would be very useful but very few centres utilise TEM techniques on a routine basis in the diagnosis of platelet disorders.

With the assistance of Jenny Norman in the AMMRF at the University of New South Wales, Dr Brighton is establishing diagnostic TEM techniques for these platelet disorders. Platelet Storage Pool Deficiency (SPD) is a particular focus and is characterised by a deficiency of dense bodies within the platelets. These bodies contain compounds essential for fulfilling the blood functions of platelets and are electron opaque, making them easily detected by TEM. Dr Brighton has now used his technique to identify several patients with bleeding disorders who were found to have varying deficiencies of these platelet dense bodies.

Related Stories

Hazer Group live on ASX

Hazer Group was established in 2010 from technology developed at UWA to produce clean hydrogen and ...Read More

burn victim

Fast-tracking elastin to market

Prof. Tony Weiss from the University of Sydney in conjunction with Elastagen Pty Ltd has been ...Read More


Nanopatch to tackle polio

The World Health Organization (WHO) is to provide funding to spin-out company, Vaxxas, so it can ...Read More