Pathophysiology of Immune Thrombocytopenia

  • Taylor Olmsted KimEmail author


There are 3.3 per 100,000 adults diagnosed with ITP per year, while the incidence in children is estimated at 1.9-6.4 per 100,000 annually. Approximately a quarter of those pediatric patients go on to develop chronic ITP, while chronic disease is much more common in adults. An estimated 80% of ITP cases are primary, with the remaining cases presenting in the setting of chronic infection, lymphoproliferative disorders, or other autoimmune disease. ITP affects both children and adults; however, the clinical course varies significantly between the two groups and may actually represent different underlying molecular pathologies. Despite many advances, our understanding of ITP pathophysiology remains incomplete. Continued research is bringing to light an increasingly complex web of interactions within the immune system which may be contributory. This chapter reviews what is currently known about the role of antiplatelet antibodies, cellular immunity, platelet production abnormalities, and genetics in the development and perpetuation of ITP.


Platelet autoantibodies Megakaryocytes TPO Helicobacter pylori Evans syndrome Hepatitis C Varicella zoster 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section of Hematology/Oncology, Department of PediatricsTexas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers, Baylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA

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