DIAGNOSING AND MANAGING AN IDIOPATHIC THROMBOCYTOPENIC PURPURA CASE ON THE USMLE EXAMS

by / Friday, 25 February 2011 / Published in Internal Medicine

It is important that we know when and why to make the diagnosis of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, the criteria are listed below:

 

Patient with purpura/petechia and very low platelet count without any identifiable causes for isolated thrombocytopenia get a diagnosis of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura.

This is caused by autoantibodies against the circulating platelets.

** Patients with MILD (30,000 – 50,000) and/or asymptomatic thrombocytopenia should NOT be treated (as platelet transfusion would only result in autoantibody destruction anyway)

*** only in severe cases of ITP should transfusion be given (ie. life-threatening bleeds)

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