Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura Overview

What is idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura?
A person with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura has a disorder that results in decreased numbers of platelets. The immune system, which normally fights infection, mistakenly attacks the platelets. Platelets are blood cells that form clots. Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura leads to easy bleeding and bruising. About 85 percent of people with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura recover within 2 months.

What are the symptoms of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura?
Symptoms of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura include a rash that looks like broken blood vessels under the skin, bleeding, gums, heavy menstrual bleeding, black stool, and repeated nosebleeds.

How does the doctor treat idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura?
Treatment may not be necessary for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. Treatment for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura may include corticosteroids, intravenous immunoglobulin, platelet transfusion, rituximab, and removal of the spleen.

Continue to Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura Incidence

Last Updated: Aug 19, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura References
  1. Gibson M, Sehon JK, White S, Zibari GB, Johnson LW. Splenectomy for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura: a five-year retrospective review. Am Surg. 2000 Oct;66(10):952-4; discussion 955. [11261623]
  2. Kojouri K, George JN. Recent advances in the treatment of chronic refractory immune thrombocytopenic purpura. Int J Hematol. 2005 Feb;81(2):119-25. [15765779]
  3. Sandler SG. Review: immune thrombocytopenic purpura: an update for immunohematologists. Immunohematol. 2004;20(2):112-7. [15373659]
  4. Vesely SK, Perdue JJ, Rizvi MA, Terrell DR, George JN. Management of adult patients with persistent idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura following splenectomy: a systematic review. Ann Intern Med. 2004 Jan 20;140(2):112-20. [14734334]
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