Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura diagnosed during the second decade of life

Eric J. Lowe, George R. Buchanan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Objective: To retrospectively review our institutional experience of adolescents with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). Study design: Medical record review of all patients diagnosed with ITP between the ages of 10 and 18 years seen at our center from January 1976 to March 2000. Results: Data were collected from 126 patients. Of the evaluable 110 cases, 63 (57%) satisfied the criteria for chronic ITP, 30 (27%) for acute ITP, and 17 (15%) were uncertain. Sex distribution and mean ages were similar in all 3 groups. Platelet count at presentation was higher in patients with chronic ITP. Splenectomy was performed in 24 patients, with 17 (77%) of 22 having normal platelet counts at last follow-up. Outcome for the nonsplenectomized patients with chronic ITP included normalization of platelet count (n = 4), minimal or no bleeding without treatment (n = 29), treatment for ongoing symptoms (n = 5), and unknown (n = 1). Two patients died, 1 from intracranial hemorrhage and 1 from Escherichia coli sepsis and pulmonary hemorrhage. Conclusions: Patients 10 to 18years of age with ITP are more likely than younger children to have chronic disease. Many patients with ITP recover without drug therapy or need for splenectomy. ITP in adolescents shares features of both childhood and adult ITP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-258
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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