Anticoagulant-induced aggregation of platelets leads to pseudothrombocytopenia. Blood cell counters generally trigger alarms to alert the user. We describe an insidious case of pseudothrombocytopenia, where the complete absence of Coulter counter alarms both in ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid blood and in citrate or acid citrate dextrose blood samples was compounded by the fact that the massive aggregates were exclusively found at the edges of the blood smear. Non-recognition of pseudothrombocytopenia can have serious diagnostic and therapeutic consequences. While the anti-aggregant mixture citrate-theophylline-adenosine-dipyridamole completely failed in preventing pseudothrombocytopenia, addition of iloprost to anticoagulants only partially prevented the aggregation. Only the prior addition of gentamicin to any anticoagulant used resulted in a complete prevention of pseudothrombocytopenia and enabled to count accurately the platelets.
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