, Volume 89, Issue 1 Supplement, pp 61-65
Date: 23 Mar 2010

Chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura—who needs medication?

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Chronic ITP (immune thrombocytopenic purpura; now defined as duration of more than 12 months) is not always associated with significant bleeding problems so that most children and adults can be managed expectantly with no medication unless surgery, accidents or other pathology mandate it. A cut-off platelet count of 30 × 109/l divides a group with no increased mortality from those whose risk is greater and in whom medication is usually appropriate. There is increasing recognition of long-term morbidity and mortality associated with immune suppression induced by medication and more recently new concerns have arisen about the long-term vascular complications of splenectomy. A more conservative approach to medication is warranted in many patients with chronic ITP.