Platelet Function Disorders in Adolescents with Heavy Menstrual Bleeding: Clinical Presentations, Laboratory Testing and Treatment Options

Lawrence S Amesse, James A French and Teresa Pfaff-Amesse

Background: Platelet Function Disorders (PFD) is receiving increasing attention as an important etiology of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding (HMB) in adolescents. An understanding of presentation profiles, diagnostic limitations and effective treatment regimens for these disorders are important for effective management of these disorders. Methods: This study reviews the literature on the diagnosis and treatment of platelet function disorders in adolescents with heavy menstrual bleeding. Results: Heavy menstrual bleeding affects the quality of life of many adolescents, and PFDs appearing to be an important underlying etiology of this disorder. The storage pool subtype is the most prevalent of the platelet functional defects in these patients. Standard platelet functions screening has a number of limitations in diagnosing many of the PFD subtypes, and platelet aggregation studies and electron microscopy are important diagnostic adjuncts. Hormonal and non-hormonal treatment regimens are available and treatment recommendations will depend on the severity of bleeding. Conclusion: Clinicians treating adolescent with HMB should be aware of PFDs and the diagnostic limitations in detecting many of the subtypes. Management depends on the severity of bleeding.