WHAT IS ITP? KNOW ITS SYMPTOMS, CAUSES & TREATMENT
Immune thrombocytopenic purpura or ITP is a blood disorder in which an abnormal decrease in platelet cells present in the blood is observed.
Platelet cells are crucially involved to stop the bleeding. A huge decrease in platelet count may lead to internal bleeding, bleeding gums, and easy bruising. ITP is caused by abnormal activity of the immune system against the body’s own platelets.
ITP typically affects 4-8 per 10,000 children under 15 years of age.
Causes of ITP
ITP occurs when certain immune system cells produce antibodies against platelets. Platelets help to clot blood by clumping together to plug small holes in damaged blood vessels.
The antibodies attach to the platelets. The body destroys the platelets that carry the antibodies.
In children, the disease sometimes follows a viral infection. In adults, it is more often a long-term (chronic) disease and can occur after a viral infection, with use of certain drugs, during pregnancy, or as part of an immune disorder.
ITP impacts women more typically than men. It is more common in children than adults. In children, the disease influences boys and girls equally.
What are the sign and symptoms of ITP?
Normal platelet count is in the range of 150,000 to 450,000. In a child with ITP, the platelet count is generally less than 100,000. By the time significant bleeding occurs, the child may have a platelet count of less than 10,000. The lower the platelet count, the greater the risk of bleeding because platelets help to stop bleeding. The symptoms of ITP are related to increased bleeding. However, each child may experience symptoms differently.
Symptoms may include:
- Purpura– the purple color of the skin after blood has “leaked” under it. A bruise is blood under the skin. Children with ITP may have large bruises from no known trauma. Bruises can appear at the joints of elbows and knees just from movement.
- Petechia– tiny red dots under the skin that are a result of very small bleeds.
- Bleeding in the mouth and/or in and around the gums
- Blood in the vomit, urine or stool
- Bleeding in the head- this is the most dangerous symptom of ITP. Any head trauma that occurs when there are not enough platelets to stop the bleeding can be life-threatening.
Diagnosis of ITP
When you visit a doctor’s clinic, the doctor may prescribe some blood or imaging tests to diagnose ITP:
A complete blood count (CBC), which measures the size, number, and maturity of different blood cells in a specific volume of blood (to measure platelets).
Additional blood and urine tests, which measure bleeding time and detect possible infections
A bone marrow aspiration may be performed to look at your child’s production of platelets and to rule out any abnormal cells your child’s bone marrow could be producing that could lower platelet counts.
In children, the disease usually goes away without treatment. Some children may need treatment.
Adults are often started on a steroid medicine called prednisone or dexamethasone. In some cases, surgery to remove the spleen (splenectomy) is recommended. This increases the platelet count in about half of people. However, other drug treatments are often recommended instead.
If the disease does not get better with prednisone, other treatments may include:
- Infusions of high-dose gamma globulin (an immune factor)
- Drugs that suppress the immune system
- Anti-RhD therapy for people with certain blood types
- Drugs that stimulate the bone marrow to make more platelets
People with ITP should not take aspirin, ibuprofen, or warfarin, because these drugs interfere with platelet function or blood clotting, and bleeding may occur.
Suffering from ITP? Meet an expert doctor at Grecian Super Speciality Hospital. The hospital is 300 bedded and all the doctors here possess vast experience in handling ortho, cardiac, or various other chronic health-related issues too. Modern equipment, caring staff nurses, emergency department, and all essential needs are available here for proper care of the patients.
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Sector-69, Mohali- 160062,
Contact no.: 62837-05192, book your appointment now!
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