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Transfus Sci. 1998 Sep;19(3):231-6.

The history of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).

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  • 1Transfusion Medicine, St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada.


Purpura, initially recognized in ancient times, was defined into clinical syndromes in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. With advances in microscope science in the nineteenth century, the platelet was identified, leading to the recognition of the thrombocytopenic component of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). The 20th century brought recognition of the pathophysiology of the disorder and the clinical states were refined and treatments for ITP developed. The latter half of the 20th century has focused on the autoimmune components of ITP, attempting to develop diagnostic tests, apply new therapies, and elucidate the immune dysregulation associated with, and underlying, the disorder.

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