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Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura Causes

The exact cause of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura is not known. This is why it's referred to as idiopathic, meaning "of unknown cause." Scientists do know, however, that with ITP, the immune system malfunctions and begins attacking platelets as if they were foreign substances.

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura Definition

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is the condition of having a low platelet count (thrombocytopenia) of an unknown cause (idiopathic). As most causes appear to be related to antibodies against platelets, it is also called immune thrombocytopenic purpura.

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura Diagnosis

Doctors usually diagnose idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura by excluding other possible causes of bleeding and a low platelet count, such as an underlying infection or illness or medications the patient may be taking. If no other underlying problem is causing the signs and symptoms, then a diagnosis of ITP may be made.

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura Symptoms and Signs

Signs that typically indicate a low platelet count and possibly idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura include: easy or excessive bruising (purpura); superficial bleeding into the skin that appears as a rash of pinpoint-sized reddish-purple spots (petechiae), usually on the lower legs; prolonged bleeding from cuts; spontaneous bleeding from the gums or nose; blood in urine or stools; unusually heavy menstrual flows; and profuse bleeding during surgery.

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura Treatment

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura is typically treated by a doctor who specializes in blood disorders (hematologist). The goal of treating ITP is to ensure a safe platelet count and prevent bleeding complications while reducing treatment side effects.

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