Much progress has been made during the past several decades in the diagnosis and management of childhood idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). Although we do not yet know ITP's cause, opportunities for research discovery in other areas have blossomed in recent years. One major step forward has been realization that outcomes other than platelet count are important in children with ITP, most especially the severity of hemorrhage, cost and side effects of treatment, and overall quality of life. The classical definition of chronic ITP (thrombocytopenia lasting greater than 6 months) has been questioned. Debate continues whether ITP can truly be cured, especially when it lasts for years. Much excitement has recently been generated as a result of a new mechanism of ITP treatment, that is, enhancing platelet production. Yet problems continue regarding how best to conduct research involving newly diagnosed ITP patients, for a number of barriers are still to be overcome. Fortunately, however, abundant information and support for ITP patients and their families is now much more available than in years past.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health