Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is an immune mediated reduction in the platelet count. Antibodies are directed against the glycoprotein IIb-IIIa or Ib complex

Laboratory Investigations

FBC

Thrombocytopenia

antiplatelet autoantibodies (usually IgG)

++++
bone marrow aspiration shows megakaryocytes in the marrow. This should be carried out prior to the commencement of steroids in order to rule out leukaemia

Management

oral prednisolone (80% of patients respond)
splenectomy if platelets < 30 after 3 months of steroid therapy
IV immunoglobulins
immunosuppressive drugs e.g. cyclophosphamide

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