What physical findings are characteristic of immune thrombocytopenia (ITP)?

Updated: Dec 14, 2019
  • Author: Michael A Silverman, MD, MD; Chief Editor: Gil Z Shlamovitz, MD, FACEP  more...
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Answer

Common physical findings include the following:

  • Nonpalpable petechiae, which mostly occur in dependent regions
  • Hemorrhagic bullae on mucous membranes
  • Purpura
  • Gingival bleeding
  • Signs of GI bleeding
  • Menometrorrhagia, menorrhagia
  • Retinal hemorrhages
  • Evidence of intracranial hemorrhage, with possible neurologic symptoms
  • Nonpalpable spleen: The prevalence of palpable spleen in patients with ITP is approximately the same as that in the non-ITP population (ie, 3% in adults, 12% in children).
  • Spontaneous bleeding when platelet count is less than 20,000/mm 3

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