What is the primary cause of morbidity and mortality in immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)?

Updated: Jun 28, 2019
  • Author: Craig M Kessler, MD, MACP; Chief Editor: Srikanth Nagalla, MBBS, MS, FACP  more...
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Answer

The primary cause of long-term morbidity and mortality in patients with immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is hemorrhage. [27] Spontaneous or accidental trauma–induced intracranial hemorrhage is the most frequent cause of death in association with ITP. Most cases of intracranial hemorrhage occur in patients whose platelet counts are less than 10 × 109/L (< 10 × 103/µL). [1] This situation occurs in 0.5-1% of cases in children, and half of those are fatal. [2] In one study, 17% of children experienced a major hemorrhage. [28] The estimated frequency of intracranial hemorrhage in adults with ITP is 1.5%. [29]


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