A Randomized Multicenter Trial Comparing Low-Dose Prednisolone Versus Observation for Prevention of Recurrences in Adult Immune Thrombocytopenia

Arunrat Pirunsarn, Pitiphong Kijrattanakul, Supat Chamnanchanunt, Chantana Polprasert, Ponlapat Rojnuckarin
Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/hemostasis 2018, 24 (6): 867-873
Adult immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) commonly relapses after stopping treatments. This may be preventable by low-dose steroids. In this multicenter study, adult patients with ITP who had been responding to corticosteroids were randomized with the 2 strata of newly diagnosed and relapsed ITP to prednisolone 7.5 mg/d or observation for 6 months. Relapses were defined by a platelet count below 30 × 109 /L and/or clinical bleeding. There were 75 patients evaluable for the efficacy and 77 for safety. The recurrent ITP comprised 57.3%. During the median follow-up of 42 weeks, there were 20.5% (8/39) and 25% (9/36) of recurrences in the prednisolone and control groups ( P = .643), with the hazard ratio (HR) of 0.75 ( P = .549). The significant factor that could predict recurrences was relapsed ITP with the HR of 2.79 (95% confidence interval, 1.02-7.64, P = .037). Prednisolone showed a trend toward a benefit in the relapsed subgroup ( P = .070). Adverse events were not different ( P = .540) and mostly mild. In conclusion, prednisolone maintenance could not prolong relapse-free survival. Relapsed patients deserve further investigations for preventive measures.

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