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Semin Hematol. 2000 Jul;37(3):275-89.

Management of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in pregnancy.

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Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is a relatively common autoimmune disorder among women of child-bearing age. It has a frequency of approximately one to two per 1,000 live births, accounting for about 3% of all cases of maternal thrombocytopenia at delivery. ITP in pregnancy necessitates the management of two patients, the mother and her baby; hence, the close collaboration of a multidisciplinary group composed of a hematologist, obstetrician, and pediatrician is essential. Our understanding of thrombocytopenia in pregnancy has evolved considerably over the last decade, yet the optimal diagnostic and treatment strategies for ITP in pregnancy continues to create controversy. In reviewing the recent literature, there is resurgence in the trend towards treating these patients in a more conservative fashion. This review will summarize the current approach to the diagnosis of ITP in pregnancy, as well as explore the pertinent and controversial issues of investigation and management.

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