Reticulated platelet percentages in term and preterm neonates

Matthew A. Saxonhouse, Martha C. Sola, Karen M. Pastos, Mark E. Ignatz, Alan D. Hutson, Robert D. Christensen, Lisa M. Rimsza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Objectives: The authors aimed to determine whether their reticulated platelet percentage (RP%) analysis technique was suitable for use in term and preterm neonates and to characterize RP% values among nonthrombocytopenic neonates. Methods: The authors modified a whole blood method that uses dual-color CD41 staining for platelet gating and thiazole orange for RNA content, combined with RNase treatment of half the sample to subtract non-RNA fluorescence. The RP% was measured in samples from 10 healthy adults and then a longitudinal study was performed in 15 nonthrombocytopenic preterm neonates on days of life 0 to 1, 2 to 5, 6 to 10, and then weekly until day 28. The authors also performed a cross-sectional study of RP% in 22 nonthrombocytopenic neonates of different gestational age (GA) and post-conceptional age (PCA). Results: Overall, neonates had a higher RP% (2.7 ± 1.6%) than adults (1.1 ± 0.5%; P < 0.01). In preterm neonates, an increase in the RP% occurred between days 0 and 1 (3.3 ± 1.3%) and days 2 and 5 (5.1 ± 1.8%; P = 0.003). By days 6 to 10, the RP% decreased to 3.2 ± 1.1% and remained unchanged throughout the rest of the study period. In neonates less than 7 days old, an inverse relationship was observed between RP% and GA (n = 20, r = -0.70; P = 0.0005). A correlation between RP% and PCA was not seen in neonates 7 days of age or older. Conclusions: This method for determining RP% is suitable for use in term and preterm neonates. In preterm infants, the RP% significantly increases over the first 2 to 5 days of life and then decreases to a stable level over the first 28 days. RP% is generally higher in neonates than in adults. Among preterm infants in the first week of life, the RP% is inversely related to GA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)797-802
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2004


  • Reticulated platelet percentages
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Thrombopoiesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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