Major hemorrhage in children with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura: Immediate response to therapy and long-term outcome

D. Medieiros, G. R. Buchanan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

114 Scopus citations


Objectives: We retrospectively characterized children with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) who had major hemorrhage to determine response to therapy and long-term outcome. Study design: We reviewed the medical records of 332 children with ITP diagnosed at our center during the last 10 years for occurrence of major hemorrhage, defined as (1) intracranial hemorrhage, (2) epistaxis requiring cautery or nasal packing, (3) gross hematuria, or (4) other bleeding causing a decline in hemoglobin concentration. Results: Of 332 patients with ITP, 58 (17%) had 68 episodes of major hemorrhage; 56 of these episodes were treated with corticosteroids, intravenous immunoglobulin, or both. The platelet count rose to ≤20,000/mm3 within 24 hours after presentation after only 18% of evaluated events, and 28% of patients with major hemorrhage still had a platelet count <20,000/mm3 after 7 days. Twenty-seven of 49 patients available for evaluation had resolution of ITP within 6 months, 21 had chronic ITP, and 1 died of sepsis. Conclusions: We observed that 17% of children with ITP had major hemorrhage. Only a minority of these patients had an immediate rise in platelet count after receiving intravenous immunoglobulin, corticosteroid treatment, or both. Prospective studies of childhood ITP focusing on short-term outcome variables in addition to platelet count should be performed to better define optimal treatment for each affected child.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-339
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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