Oncology (General Cancer)/Peteciae and cancer


My husband is a t-12prprgplegic and has been for15 years. My question is, for the last two weeks he has been breaking out in the peteciae in various places of his body.the doctor took some blood tests and we were told that his clotting time was low something close to .13 over 11 seconds. Now I Could be wrong about that part, but he also said his placelets were high. We have an appointment with a hematologist/oncologist. It is just too far away (2weeks) and I really would like to know something. He is complaining of his left Side hurting and wondered if that had anything to do with it. He has past a sizable stone this past week. The peteciae seem to be in different spots, almost like they are coming and going. His sides and back of arms are the worst. one day there won't be any in spot in an area and the  next  there will be. Most of the spots seem to be places he lays on. Any kind of answer would be greatly appreciated. My mind of course is conjuring all kins of things. Thank you for anything you can tell me.

When the platelets are very high, you can have a "coagulopathy" in which bleeding occurs more easily.  This is because the platelets tend to clump in the blood stream and consume other coagulation factors.  It's hard to say whether a low clotting time means anything other than that it should be repeated.  High clotting times, on the other hand, generally also point to a coagulation defect. Patients who have chronic myelocytic leukemia or essential thrombocytosis can manufacture too many platelets.  These disorders can be treated.  Petechiae can also come about when the platelets are damaged.  Someone on chronic aspirin therapy could possibly develop petechiae, and could someone on coritcosteroids.  finally petechiae can be related to the presence of high protein levels in the blood, like with multiple myeloma.  And there are still other causes.  Malnutrition, for example.  Various infections.  Certain autoimmune diseases.  Petechiae tend to occur in dependent areas, so it's no suprise that they are in places he lays on.  
The left sided pain could be related to an enlarged spleen which could go along with some of the above; and it could also be related to a kidney disorder.  You are right in getting to a hematologist as soon as possible.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Donald Higby, M.D.


I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.


I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

Awards and Honors
America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.