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Ann Ist Super Sanita. 1998;34(4):457-61.

Treatment of acute idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in children. A retrospective evaluation of 120 cases.

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Divisione di Ematologia, Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesà, Rome, Italy.


Acute idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (AITP) in children is generally a benign disease with a high frequency of spontaneous remission. Nevertheless the debate over treating or not is still open, because of the high risk of hemorrhage as long as the platelet count remains below 20 x 10(9)/l. We have retrospectively evaluated 120 pediatric cases from our center, receiving different treatments at diagnosis: no treatment (76); IVIG: 400 mg/kg/d for 5 days (28); continuous oral PDN: 1-1.5 mg/kg/d for at least two weeks (16). No patients had been previously treated for AITP. Follow-up is up to fifty months. We found no significant differences as to the percentage of responses among the three groups. We conclude that waiting without treatment is safe and appropriate in most cases; whether the hemorrhagic risk suggests treatment, standard dose continuous oral PDN and IVIG may be equally effective, but IVIG may achieve a significantly faster rise in the platelet count. The timing of treatment and the cost/benefit ratio are discussed.

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