How is immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) treated in adults?

Updated: Jan 11, 2020
  • Author: Craig M Kessler, MD, MACP; Chief Editor: Srikanth Nagalla, MBBS, MS, FACP  more...
  • Print

In adults, treatment is recommended for a platelet count < 30×109/L. The ASH recommends that if treatment is needed, shorter courses of corticosteroids (≤6 weeks) are preferred over prolonged courses (> 6 weeks including treatment and taper) as first-line treatment. The guidelines suggest either prednisone (0.5-2.0 mg/kg per day) or dexamethasone (40 mg per day for 4 days) as the type of corticosteroid for initial therapy.  [8]

In adults with ITP lasting ≥3 months who are corticosteroid-dependent or have no response to corticosteroids, the ASH guidelines suggest either splenectomy or a TPO-RA. In adults who are going to be treated with aTPO-RA, either eltrombopag or romiplostim is suggested by the ASH guidelines. ASH also suggests rituximab over splenectomy. [8]

Gudbrandsdottir et al reported that treatment with the combination of dexamethasone and rituximab resulted in higher response rates than with dexamethasone monotherapy (58%, versus 37% with dexamethasone alone; P = 0.02), as well as longer time to relapse (P = 0.03) and longer time to rescue treatment (P = 0.007). However, the incidence of grade 3 to 4 adverse events was higher in the rituximab plus dexamethasone group (P = 0.04). The study included 113 adult patients with newly diagnosed, symptomatic primary ITP. [53]

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!