Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is a bleeding disorder where the immune system damages platelets, which are needed for normal blood clot. People with the disease have too few platelets in the blood.
What Is Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
ITP is sometimes called immune thrombocytopenic purpura or just, immune thrombocytopenia.
Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is a kind of thrombocytopenic purpura defined as separated low platelet count (thrombocytopenia) with normal bone marrow and the absence of other causes of thrombocytopenia. It causes a particular purpuric rash and an increased tendency to bleed. Two unique medical syndromes manifest as an intense condition in children and a chronic condition in adults. The acute type typically follows an infection and has a spontaneous resolution within two months. Chronic immune thrombocytopenia continues longer than 6 months with a particular cause being unknown.
ITP is an autoimmune disease with antibodies detectable versus a number of platelet surface antigens.
ITP is diagnosed by a low platelet count in a total blood count (a common blood test). Nevertheless, since the medical diagnosis depends on the exclusion of other causes of a low platelet count, additional investigations (such as a bone marrow biopsy) might be required sometimes.
In moderate cases, just careful observation may be needed however really low counts or substantial bleeding may trigger treatment with corticosteroids, intravenous immunoglobulin, anti-D immunoglobulin, or immunosuppressive drugs. Refractory ITP (not responsive to traditional treatment) might need splenectomy, the surgical elimination of the spleen. Platelet transfusions may be used in severe bleeding together with an extremely low count. In some cases the body might compensate by making unusually large platelets.
Causes of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
ITP occurs when particular immune system cells produce antibodies versus platelets. Platelets assist your embolism by clumping together to plug small holes in harmed blood vessels.
The antibodies attach to the platelets. The body destroys the platelets that bring the antibodies.
In children, the disease often follows a viral infection. In adults, it is more frequently a long-lasting (chronic) disease and can occur after a viral infection, with use of specific drugs, during pregnancy, or as part of an immune disorder.
ITP affects women more frequently than men. It is more typical in children than adults. In children, the disease affects boys and girls similarly.
Symptoms of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
ITP symptoms can consist of any of the following:
- Unusually heavy periods in women
- Bleeding into the skin, often around the shins, causing a skin rash that appears like identify red spots (petechial rash).
- Easy bruising.
- Nosebleed or bleeding in the mouth.
How Is ITP Diagnosed?
Blood tests will be done to check your platelet count.
A bone marrow aspiration or biopsy might likewise be done.
Treatment for Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
In children, Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura typically disappears without treatment. Some children may need treatment.
Adults are generally started on a steroid medicine called prednisone. In many cases, surgery to remove the spleen (splenectomy) is recommended. This increases the platelet count in about half of people. Nevertheless, other drug treatments are typically suggested instead.
If the disease does not get better with prednisone, other treatments may include:
- Medication called danazol (Danocrine) taken by mouth.
- Infusions of high-dose gamma globulin (an immune factor).
- Drugs that reduce the immune system.
- Anti-RhD therapy for people with particular blood types.
- Drugs that stimulate the bone marrow to make more platelets.
People with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura ought to not take aspirin, ibuprofen, or warfarin, due to the fact that these drugs interfere with platelet function or blood clot, and bleeding might occur.
ITP Recovery Time
With treatment, the chance of remission (a symptom-free period) is good. In rare cases, ITP might become a long-term condition in adults and come back, after a symptom-free period.
Abrupt and severe loss of blood from the digestive tract might take place. Bleeding into the brain might likewise happen.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Go to the emergency clinic or call the local emergency number (such as 911) if severe bleeding happens, or if other new symptoms establish.
Alternative Names of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
Immune thrombocytopenic purpura; ITP; Immune thrombocytopenia; Bleeding disorder – idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura; Bleeding disorder – ITP; Autoimmune – ITP; Low platelet count – ITP.