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What is Immune Thrombocytopenia?

About

Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is a disorder causing excessive bruising and bleeding resulting from unusually low levels of platelets.

In the majority of cases, ITP will settle quickly with no treatment. [1]

- Affects women more than men, and children more than adults
- It is usually chronic in adults
- Bleeding that does not stop needs immediate medical attention
- Diagnosed through a complete blood count or bone marrow test
- Complication is fatal bleeding into the brain

Causes include certain immune system cells produce antibodies against platelets that attach to the platelets and are destroyed by the body. Children usually recover fully after developing ITP after a viral infection.

Symptoms

There are usually no symptoms. When they occur, they include
Easy or excessive bruising
- Pinpoint-sized reddish-purple spots or rashes that are superficial bleeding into the skin, usually on the lower legs.
- Bleeding from the gums or nose
- Blood in urine or stools
- Heavy menstrual flow

Treatment

Self-care: People with mild cases may require nothing more than regular monitoring and platelet checks. Children usually improve without treatment.

Surgery may be required to remove the spleen in some cases, which increases the platelet count in about half the people. However, other drug treatments are usually recommended instead. Transfusions of platelet concentrate, intravenous corticosteroid, and intravenous immune globulin are usually emergency care.

Medication: Adults usually start on steroid medication. Drug treatments may include
- Oral medicine
- Infusions of immune factors
- Drugs suppressing the immune system
- Anti-RhD therapy for certain blood types
- Drugs stimulating the bone marrow for more platelet production

Specialists: At mfine, optimum healthcare facilities are available for ITP.

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