Iron deficiency anemia is frequently associated with thrombocytosis. However, in some rare cases of very severe iron deficiency, a thrombocytopenia may occur. This condition may lead to a misdiagnosis of immune thrombocytopenic purpura and thus to unnecessary tests in this context. Here we report two patients who presented with iron deficiency associated thrombocytopenia rapidly corrected after martial supplementation. We then discuss the value of measuring immature platelet fraction (IPF), which represents the population of newly formed platelets containing a greater amount of residual RNA. For both cases, low IPF values at admission indicated a central origin of thrombocytopenia with decreased platelet production, which is the pathophysiological mechanism of iron deficiency associated thrombocytopenia.
Keywords: immature platelet fraction; iron deficiency; platelet count; thrombocytopenia.