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Hematology. 2002 Apr;7(2):119-21.

Major histocompatibility complex susceptibility genes and immune thrombocytopenic purpura in Caucasian adults.

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Department of Haematology, Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, London, UK.


Immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is a heterogeneous disorder with wide variability in response rates to treatments including corticosteroids, splenectomy and intravenous immune globulins. The nature of the underlying predisposing causes for this autoimmune disorder are not known. We have HLA typed 71 adult Caucasian patients with chronic primary ITP, and compared the data with 750 control samples. In this association study, we were not able to identify a significant immunogenetic susceptibility factor for ITP with HLA class I and class II alleles. However, it appeared that there might be an association between HLA-A2 and ITP, particularly in female patients, who are the predominantly affected group; and HLA-A2 was also present at increased frequency in patients with chronic ITP progressing to splenectomy. These findings are reviewed in the context of other similar reported HLA studies in ITP. Further studies based on larger groups of patients will be necessary to identify genetic susceptibility factors for this disease.

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