Idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP)

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A general overview or idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura or ITP, an acquired blood disorder.

Key points

  • Idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP) is an acquired disorder. ITP is not a cancer or malignancy.
  • Platelets, or thrombocytes, are blood cells produced in the bone marrow. Platelets circulate in the blood for approximately eight to 10 days.
  • The most common sign of ITP is the appearance of numerous pinpoint haemorrhages, or petechiae, which look like tiny red spots under the skin.
  • About 80% to 90% of patients recover spontaneously, usually within three months from the beginning of the illness.
  • ITP can be treated in several ways: prednisone, intravenous immunoglobulin, intravenous Anti-D and splenectomy (removal of the spleen).
  • Always check with your child's doctor before giving them any medication. Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) or any medication that contains ASA should be avoided.
Last updated: June 2nd 2011