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S Afr Med J. 1986 Mar 1;69(5):321-2.

Emergency surgery and refractory immune thrombocytopenic purpura. A case report.


A 35-year-old woman with post-splenectomy refractory immune thrombocytopenia presented with an acute abdominal emergency requiring laparotomy. Her platelet count was raised from 10 to 96 X 10(9)/l using a combination of high-dose methylprednisolone, plasma exchange against fresh-frozen plasma, infusion of gammaglobulin and a single mega-unit of platelets. The surgical procedure was uneventful, and with no further therapy the platelet count rose to a peak of 244 X 10(9)/l, but over the following 7 days fell back slowly to 10 X 10(9)/l, at which time the patient was discharged well.

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