Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) may have no symptoms. When signs and symptoms do occur, they may include:
- Easy or excessive bruising (purpura) — your skin naturally bruises and bleeds more easily as you age, but this shouldn't be confused with ITP
- Superficial bleeding into your skin that appears as a rash of pinpoint-sized reddish-purple spots (petechiae), usually on your lower legs
- Prolonged bleeding from cuts
- Spontaneous bleeding from nose
- Bleeding gums, especially after dental work
- Blood in urine or stools
- Unusually heavy menstrual flow
When to see a doctor
If you or your child has abnormal bleeding or bruising, or develops a rash of pinpoint-sized red spots, see your doctor. It's also important to seek medical advice if you're a woman who suddenly develops significantly increased menstrual bleeding, as this may be a sign of ITP.
Serious or widespread bleeding indicates an emergency and requires immediate care.
Dec. 10, 2014
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- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed Feb. 25, 2013.
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- Guide to understanding ITP (immune thrombocytopenia). ITP Foundation. http://www.itpfoundation.org/itpdefined.htm. Accessed Feb. 25, 2013.
- Arnold DM. Positioning new treatments in the management of immune thrombocytopenia. Pediatric Blood & Cancer. 2013;60:S19.
- Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/hematology_and_oncology/thrombocytopenia_and_platelet_dysfunction/immune_thrombocytopenic_purpura_itp.html. Accessed Feb. 25, 2013.
- Bussel JB. Traditional and new approaches to the management of immune thrombocytopenia: Issues of when and who to treat. Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America. 2009;23:1329.
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