Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, also known as autoimmune thrombocytopenic purpura, is a disease characterised by IgG autoantibody-mediated platelet destruction resulting in a low platelet count of 150 x10 9 or less. It is a diagnosis made by excluding other causes of thrombocytopenia.

In children ITP tends to occur after viral infections and be self-limiting. In adults it tends to last longer and often follows a chronic course.

Treatment is only needed if the patient is symptomatic or the platelets are <20.
  • First line = oral prednisolone - 80% respond
  • If no response in 3 months --> splenectomy – curative for 2/3s of patients 
  • Other options include IV IG or immunosupressive drugs

Small print gem: Evan's syndrome = ITP +AIHA.

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Secret collector of interesting anonymised ECGs. Fan of the Bath Photomarathon. Lover of cream teas. [Sarah Hudson] (Your Picture)