Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is an immune disorder
in which the body attacks the cells responsible for blood clotting (platelets),
resulting in bleeding. The cause of ITP is not known
People who have this disorder may have bruises or
black-and-blue marks (purpura) on the skin. Internal bleeding is a more serious
complication that can occur.
Some cases of ITP may go away on
their own and do not require treatment. In other cases, treatment may be needed
to control bleeding. Some medicines can help the body make more platelets.
Steroids (such as prednisone) or other medicines may be needed to suppress the immune system. An intravenous (IV) infusion of a substance made from human
blood plasma (immunoglobulin) may be given. Sometimes you will need to have platelet transfusions. In rare cases, the spleen may need to
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Joseph O'Donnell, MD - Hematology, Oncology
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.