Toxic effects on megakaryocytes.
Bone marrow infarcts.
Apart from acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), alcoholism is probably the leading cause of thrombocytopenia. However patients generally do not exhibit manifestations of excessive bleeding. Alcohol-related thrombocytopenia is usually transient, and platelet counts generally return to normal within 1 week of abstinence. The exact mechanisms underlying alcohol-related thrombocytopenia remain unknown. Some researchers have suggested that alcohol intoxication itself, rather than alcohol-related nutritional deficiencies, causes the decrease in platelet numbers. This view is supported by findings that thrombocytopenia developed in healthy subjects who received a diet containing adequate protein and vitamin levels, including large doses of folic acid, and consumed the equivalent of 1.5 pints (i.e., 745 mL) of 86-proof whiskey for at least 10 days.