What causes 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

ITP develops when platelets become coated with immunoglobulin G (IgG) autoantibodies to platelet membrane antigens, resulting in splenic sequestration and phagocytosis by mononuclear macrophages. The resulting shortened life span of platelets in the circulation, together with incomplete compensation by increased platelet production by bone marrow megakaryocytes, results in a decreased number of circulating platelets.


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