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Baillieres Clin Haematol. 1998 Jun;11(2):361-72.

Immune thrombocytopenic purpura in adults: clinical aspects.

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  • 1Department of Hematology, Hadassah Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel.


Immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is a relatively common immune-mediated disorder characterized by thrombocytopenia due to clearance of opsonized platelets by the reticuloendothelial system. The acute form, more common in children, is a self-limiting, often post-viral disease. In contrast, the adult form is typically a chronic disorder, which initially responds to corticosteroids. Splenectomy offers a 70% chance of cure. Major progress has been achieved in the elucidation of the immune pathology in ITP, and we review contemporary advances in the treatment of chronic ITP. Practical guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of various aspects of ITP were established in 1996 by the American Society of Hematology. Since these recommendations will most probably substantially influence patient care, they are discussed in detail. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated ITP is a common problem in countries with a high prevalence of HIV infection. The pathogenesis of this subtype probably differs from that of classic ITP, and is considered separately.

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