Minimum platelet count threshold before invasive procedures in cirrhosis: Evolution of the guidelines

World J Gastrointest Surg. 2023 Feb 27;15(2):127-141. doi: 10.4240/wjgs.v15.i2.127.


Cirrhotic patients with severe thrombocytopenia are at increased risk of bleeding during invasive procedures. The need for preprocedural prophylaxis aimed at reducing the risk of bleeding in cirrhotic patients with thrombocytopenia who undergo scheduled procedures is assessed via the platelet count; however, establishing a minimum threshold considered safe is challenging. A platelet count ≥ 50000/μL is a frequent target, but levels vary by provider, procedure, and specific patient. Over the years, this value has changed several times according to the different guidelines proposed in the literature. According to the latest guidelines, many procedures can be performed at any level of platelet count, which should not necessarily be checked before the procedure. In this review, we aim to investigate and describe how the guidelines have evolved in recent years in the evaluation of the minimum platelet count threshold required to perform different invasive procedures, according to their bleeding risk.

Keywords: Avatrombopag; Liver disease; Lusutrombopag; Thrombocytopenia; Transfusion.

Publication types

  • Review