Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
Is the condition of having an abnormally low platelet count (thrombocytopenia) of no known cause. Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura is a bleeding disorder in which the immune system destroys platelets, which are necessary for normal blood clotting.
Signs & Symptoms of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
- Acute ITP starts suddenly and usually follows a viral illness in a child. Acute ITP may require no treatment, especially if the platelet count does not fall too low and there is little bleeding. It usually improves spontaneously and, in children at least, rarely comes back.
- Chronic ITP develops over time, is long lasting and more common in adults. It may not need treatment if the platelet level doesn't pose a significant risk of bleeding. Any such assessment should take account of your lifestyle, such as participation in contact sports or manual work.
- Pinpoint red spots on the skin that often are found in groups and may look like a rash. The spots, called petechiae, are due to bleeding under the skin.
- Bruising or purplish areas on the skin or mucous membranes (such as in the mouth) due to bleeding under the skin. The bruises may occur for no known reason. This type of bruising is called purpura. More extensive bleeding can cause hematomas. A hematoma is a collection of clotted or partially clotted blood under the skin. It looks or feels like a lump.
- Nosebleeds or bleeding from the gums (for example, when dental work is done).
- Blood in the urine or stool (bowel movement).
Spontaneous formation of bruises (purpura) and petechiae (tiny bruises), especially on the extremities, bleeding from the nostrils, bleeding at the gums, and menorrhagia (excessive menstrual bleeding), any of which may occur if the platelet count is below 20,000 per μl. A very low count (<10,000 per μl) may result in the spontaneous formation of hematomas (blood masses) in the mouth or on other mucous membranes. Bleeding time from minor lacerations or abrasions is usually prolonged.
Complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
- Subarachnoid or intracerebral hemorrhage (bleeding inside the skull or brain)
- Lower gastrointestinal bleeding or other internal bleeding.
- A complete blood count (CBC)
- Blood clotting tests (PTT and PT)
- Bleeding time is prolonged.
- Platelet associated antibodies
- Later bone marrow aspiration or biopsy is done
In some cases spleenectomy is required