JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
REVIEW
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Intracranial hemorrhage in immune thrombocytopenic purpura: a retrospective analysis.

PURPOSE: To ascertain characteristics of children with immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) and intracranial hemorrhage (ICH).

METHODS: The authors identified 75 published cases of ICH in children with ITP by review of the literature from 1954 to 1998. Data pertaining to the ICH was recorded for age, gender, time from diagnosis of ITP (to ICH), platelet count, head trauma or arteriovenous malformation, concomitant medications, associated infections, other bleeding manifestations, prior treatment, and outcome. RESULTS Sixty-two cases represented 6 months to 20 years of age; 65% of patients were female. The median time from the diagnosis of ITP to ICH was 32 days (range 0 days to 8 years). Fifty of 69 ICH cases (72%) occurred within 6 months of diagnosis, but only 7 (10%) occurred within 3 days of diagnosis. The platelet count was less than 10000/microL in 71.4% of the cases. Treatment prior to the ICH was primarily steroids but also included intravenous immune globulin (IVIG), splenectomy, and others (interferon, azathioprine, or vincristine). There was no difference in mortality of patients before (56%) or after (54%) 1980.

CONCLUSIONS: A very low platelet count appears permissive but not sufficient for ICH to occur in children with ITP. ICH occurs more commonly in acute ITP but can occur years after diagnosis. A significant number of patients develop an ICH despite having already initiated steroid treatment of ITP.

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