Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP)


An illness called immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) can cause bruising and frequent or heavy bleeding. Platelets are the cells that aid in blood clotting, and abnormally low amounts of these cells cause bleeding.

ITP, formerly known as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, can result in reddish-purple spots that resemble a rash and purple bruises.

Immune thrombocytopenia is also known as:

  • Autoimmune thrombocytopenia
  • Immune thrombocytopenic purpura
  • Autoimmune thrombocytopenic purpura
  • Werlhof disease

After a viral infection, children who acquire ITP typically fully recover without medication. The condition is frequently chronic in adults.

If there are no signs of bleeding and the platelet count is not too low, the treatment might not be required. If your symptoms are more severe, you may need medicine to increase your platelet count or surgery to have your spleen removed.


It is possible for immune thrombocytopenia to be asymptomatic. However when there are symptoms, they might involve:

  • The nose or gums are bleeding
  • The stool or urine appears bloody
  • Bleeding that is hard to stop
  • Extreme bruising or easily gets bruises
  • Petechiae, which are tiny reddish-purple spots that resemble rashes and are most common on the lower legs are the result of
  • superficial bleeding into the skin.
  • Blood clot under the skin (hematoma)
  • Heavy menstrual flow
  • Sometimes, bleeding in the brain may occur but very rarely
  • Feeling exhausted

If you notice any warning signals in yourself or your child that worry you, schedule a doctor’s appointment. An emergency situation exists when bleeding won’t stop. If you or your child encounter bleeding that cannot be controlled by standard first-aid procedures, such as applying pressure to the area, seek immediate medical attention.


Immune thrombocytopenia typically develops when platelets, which are cell fragments that aid in blood clotting, are wrongly attacked and destroyed by your immune system. Adults may experience this after contracting hepatitis, HIV, or the stomach ulcer-causing bacteria H. pylori. Most children with ITP develop the condition after contracting a viral disease like the flu or the mumps.

Risk factors

Young women are more prone to ITP. People who also have rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and antiphospholipid syndrome appear to be at higher risk.