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Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

What is idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)?

ITP is a blood disorder characterized by an abnormal decrease in the number of platelets in the blood. Platelets are cells in the blood that help stop bleeding. A decrease in platelets can result in easy bruising, bleeding gums, and internal bleeding.

  • “Idiopathic” means the cause is unknown.
  • “Thrombocytopenia” means a decreased number of platelets in the blood.
  • “Purpura” refers to the purple discoloring of the skin, as with a bruise.
  • What causes idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura?

    Idiopathic means no known cause. However, when a cause can be identified, it may be a result of the following:

  • medications (including over-the-counter medications)
  • infection
  • pregnancy
  • immune disorders
  • Treatment for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura:

    Specific treatment for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura will be determined by your physician based on:

  • your age, overall health, and medical history
  • extent of the disease
  • your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • expectations for the course of the disease
  • your opinion or preference