Immune thrombocytopenic purpura Etiology and Epidemiology

Immune (or idiopathic) thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is one of the most common causes of acquired thrombocytopenia. The estimated incidence is 100 cases per 1 million persons per year, about half of whom are children. ITP is an autoimmune disorder caused by the binding of antibodies (usually IgG) to platelet surface antigens resulting in shortened platelet life span. ITP can occur as an isolated condition or secondary to an underlying disorder. Childhood-onset and adult-onset ITP present very differently. Adult-onset ITP is generally chronic (greater than 6 months) and affects women two to three times more often than men. By contrast, childhood-onset ITP is acute in onset and usually follows an infectious illness, and both sexes are equally affected. Childhood ITP typically resolves on its own within 4 to 6 weeks without major sequelae. ITP occurs in 1 to 2 of every 1,000 pregnancies. In pregnant women with pre-existing ITP, both maternal and fetal complications may occur, requiring separate manage-ment28

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