BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuImmune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)ITP; Immune thrombocytopenia; Bleeding disorder - idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura; Bleeding disorder - ITP; Autoimmune - ITP; Low platelet count - ITPImmune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is a bleeding disorder in which the immune system destroys platelets, which are necessary for normal blood clotting. People with the disease have too few platelets in the blood. Bleeding disorderBleeding disorders are a group of conditions in which there is a problem with the body's blood clotting process. These disorders can lead to heavy a...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Causes ITP occurs when certain immune system cells produce antibodies against platelets. Platelets help your blood clot by clumping together to plug small holes in damaged blood vessels.AntibodiesAn antibody is a protein produced by the body's immune system when it detects harmful substances, called antigens. Examples of antigens include micr...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article The antibodies attach to the platelets. The body destroys the platelets that carry the antibodies.In children, the disease sometimes follows a viral infection. In adults, it is more often a long-term (chronic) disease and can occur after a viral infection, with use of certain drugs, during pregnancy, or as part of an immune disorder.ITP affects women more often than men. It is more common in children than adults. In children, the disease affects boys and girls equally. Symptoms ITP symptoms can include any of the following:Abnormally heavy periods in women Bleeding into the skin, often around the shins, causing a skin rash that looks like pinpoint red spots (petechial rash) Bleeding into the skinBleeding into the skin can occur from broken blood vessels that form tiny red dots (called petechiae). Blood also can collect under the tissue in la...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Easy bruising Nosebleed or bleeding in the mouth Exams and Tests Blood tests will be done to check your platelet count.Platelet countA platelet count is a lab test to measure how many platelets you have in your blood. Platelets are parts of the blood that help the blood clot. The...Read Article Now Book Mark Article A bone marrow aspiration or biopsy may also be done. Bone marrow aspirationBone marrow is the soft tissue inside bones that helps form blood cells. It is found in the hollow part of most bones. Bone marrow aspiration is th...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article BiopsyA biopsy is the removal of a small piece of tissue for laboratory examination.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Treatment In children, the disease usually goes away without treatment. Some children may need treatment.Adults are usually started on a steroid medicine called prednisone or dexamethasone. In some cases, surgery to remove the spleen (splenectomy) is recommended. This increases the platelet count in about half of people. However, other drug treatments are usually recommended instead.If the disease does not get better with prednisone, other treatments may include:Infusions of high-dose gamma globulin (an immune factor) Drugs that suppress the immune system Anti-RhD therapy for people with certain blood types Drugs that stimulate the bone marrow to make more plateletsPeople with ITP should not take aspirin, ibuprofen, or warfarin, because these drugs interfere with platelet function or blood clotting, and bleeding may occur. Support Groups More information and support for people with ITP and their families can be found at:pdsa.org/patients-caregivers/support-resources.html Outlook (Prognosis) With treatment, the chance of remission (a symptom-free period) is good. In rare cases, ITP may become a long-term condition in adults and reappear, even after a symptom-free period. Possible Complications Sudden and severe loss of blood from the digestive tract may occur. Bleeding into the brain may also occur. When to Contact a Medical Professional Go to the emergency room or call 911 or the local emergency number if severe bleeding occurs, or if other new symptoms develop.Open ReferencesReferencesAbrams CS. Thrombocytopenia. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 163.Arnold DM, Zeller MP, Smith JW, Nazy I. Diseases of platelet number: Immune thrombocytopenia, neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia, and posttransfusion purpura. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ, Silberstein LE, et al, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 131.AllVideoImagesTogBlood cells - illustration Blood is comprised of red blood cells, platelets, and various white blood cells.Blood cellsillustrationBlood cells - illustration Blood is comprised of red blood cells, platelets, and various white blood cells.Blood cellsillustrationA Closer Look Systemic lupus erythematosus(In-Depth) Tests for Immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) Platelet antibodies blood testHemoglobinuria testBlood smearRelated Information Bleeding disorders(Condition)Antibody(Special Topic) Review Date: 2/6/2020 Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. 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