The biological significance of platelet volume: its relationship to bleeding time, platelet thromboxane B2 production and megakaryocyte nuclear DNA concentration

Thromb Res. 1983 Dec 1;32(5):443-60. doi: 10.1016/0049-3848(83)90255-4.


Bleeding time, platelet thromboxane B2 production and megakaryocyte nuclear DNA concentration were measured in rabbits recovering from thrombocytopenia caused by a single injection of anti-platelet serum. Similar measurements were made on rabbits in a steady state of normal platelet production. The effects of a sustained state of thrombocytopenia on megakaryocyte DNA concentration were investigated by repeated daily injections of anti-platelet serum. It is shown that bleeding time depends on both platelet count and mean platelet volume. Furthermore changes in mean platelet volume appear to play a more important role in haemostasis than changes in platelet count. The mean megakaryocyte nuclear DNA concentration is significantly increased after 24 hours of thrombocytopenia and continues to increase as thrombocytopenia is sustained. Thromboxane B2 production/unit volume of platelet is increased in platelets produced after 24 hours of thrombocytopenia compared with platelets produced in normal steady state function. As a consequence platelets produced in response to thrombocytopenia not only have a larger mean platelet volume but are also more reactive. Mean platelet volume, as well as platelet count, should be considered as an index of haemostasis and its dysfunction, thrombosis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bleeding Time
  • Blood Platelets / cytology
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism
  • Blood Platelets / physiology*
  • Bone Marrow Cells
  • Cytoplasm / physiology
  • DNA / analysis*
  • Hematopoiesis
  • Immune Sera / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Megakaryocytes / analysis*
  • Megakaryocytes / cytology
  • Platelet Count
  • Rabbits
  • Thrombocytopenia / blood
  • Thrombocytopenia / etiology
  • Thromboxane B2 / biosynthesis*
  • Thromboxanes / biosynthesis*


  • Immune Sera
  • Thromboxanes
  • Thromboxane B2
  • DNA