Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP): Causes & Treatment for ITP

Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)

Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) is a condition considered as a blood dyscrasia. This condition is characterized by relatively decreased platelet levels that are responsible for blood clotting. Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is caused by unknown factors, as the term idiopathic suggests. But in recent studies, this has been closely associated with a phenomenon of antibodies against platelets.

Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) Symptoms

  • Epistaxis: nose bleeding due to decreased clotting factors.
  • Purpura: these are purplish areas similar to bruises on the skin and even on mucous membranes. These are brought about by bleeding.
  • Appearance of petechial spots on the skin: these are red pinpoint spots that look like a rash. This is caused by bleeding of minute blood vessels underneath the skin.
  • Hematomas are large scale purpuras wherein collection of clotted blood can sometimes form into lumps.
  • Hematuria: traces of blood are found in the urine. This is brought about by spontaneous bleeding in the internal systems of the body.

Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) Treatment

  • Intravenous platelet transfusion: this is to increase number of platelets and eventually minimize bleeding tendencies.
  • Thrombopoeitin receptor agonists: this aims to lessen the destruction of platelets.
  • Surgery: splenectomy is commonly done in cases such as these. However, this is done as a last resort, because of the high risk of internal hemorrhage post surgery that may lead to death.

Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) Pregnancy

In cases of pregnant women with ITP, this requires thorough analysis because the mother and fetus has very large difference in platelet counts. And in worst cases, antibodies can cross the placenta, which may cause cerebral hemorrhage to the fetus. Treatment is complex as well because it may cause birth defects and malformations.

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