High-dose dexamethasone therapy in chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
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- Arruda, V. & Annichino-Bizzacchi, J. Ann Hematol (1996) 73: 175. doi:10.1007/s002770050223
A high-dose pulse of dexamethasone has been described as a current option for the treatment of refractory idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), but the results are controversial. Here we describe the use of a high dose of dexamethasone (40 mg per day for 4 days every month) in 18 patients with chronic ITP. The median age of the patients was 42.5 years (range, 16–77 years); 13 were female and five male. The duration of the disease ranged from 5 to 480 months, and splenectomy was carried out in six of the 18 patients.The overall results obtained revealed a satisfactory response (platelet counts higher than 50×109/l) in eight of the 18 patients. However, a long-term remisson was achieved in only three of the eight patients with a follow up of 7–16 months. We were not able to identify any clinical or laboratory prognostic parameters or previous treatment which would allow one to predict a successful outcome of this treatment. These results suggest that a high dose of dexamethasone may provide an alternative, be it a poor one, for the treatment of refractory IPT, in which the use of a low-cost drug with limited side effects is an important consideration.