In 57% of the patients (12 of 25) seen with celiac sprue, as shown by clinical course and small bowel biopsy, peripheral blood thrombocytosis was present (range: 350,000 to 815,000 platelets per mm3; mean: 546,000 ± 44,060 SE). After clinical and histological remission, the platelet counts in these patients fell significantly (range: 188,000 to 300,000 platelets per mm3; mean: 252,750 ± 13,211 SE). There was no correlation between thrombocytosis and serum iron, folate, or vitamin B12 levels. Celiac sprue joins inflammatory bowel disease among gastrointestinal disorders as a consideration in the differential diagnosis of thrombocytosis. In these patients, thrombocytosis reflected active disease and was not present during remission. Evaluation of peripheral blood platelets may be useful in the assessment of patients with celiac sprue.
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