Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) (cont.)
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What Are The Types of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)?
There are two types of ITP: acute (temporary or short-term) and chronic (long-lasting).
Acute ITP generally lasts less than 6 months. It mainly occurs in children, both boys and girls, and is the most common type of ITP. Acute ITP often occurs after an infection caused by a virus.
Chronic ITP is long-lasting (6 months or longer) and mostly affects adults. However, some teenagers and children can get this type of ITP. Chronic ITP affects women 2 to 3 times more often than men.
What Are The causes of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)?
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In most cases, it's believed that an autoimmune response causes idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).
Normally, the immune system makes antibodies (proteins) to fight off germs or other harmful things that enter the body. In ITP, however, the immune system attacks and destroys the body's platelets by mistake. Why this happens isn't known.
Children who get acute (short-term) ITP often have had recent viral infections. It's possible that the infection somehow "triggers" or sets off the immune reaction that leads to ITP in these children. ITP in adults, on the other hand, doesn't seem to be linked to infections.
What Are The Risk Factors for Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)?
Both children and adults can develop idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).
Children usually get the acute (short-term) type of ITP. Acute ITP often develops after an infection caused by a virus. Adults tend to get the chronic (long-lasting) type of ITP. Women are 2 to 3 times more likely than men to get chronic ITP.
ITP is a fairly common blood disorder, with 50 to 150 new cases per every 1 million people each year; about half of these cases are children. However, the number of cases of ITP is rising because routine blood tests that can detect a low platelet count are being done more often.
ITP can't be passed from one person to another.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/4/2014
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