Chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is a long-term disorder of the blood characterized by unusually low levels of platelets in the blood (cells that aid in clotting). Consequently, patients with chronic ITP often experience excessive bleeding or bruising as a result of their condition.
Symptoms of chronic ITP include excessive or easy bleeding, bleeding from the gums or nose, blood in stools or urine, superficial bleeding into the skin, and unusually heavy menstrual flow. Women are more likely to develop ITP than men and chronic ITP is more likely in adult patients than in children. Viral infections, such as a respiratory infection, mumps, or the measles also increase the risk of ITP developing.
Treatment of chronic ITP involves regular monitoring and well as medication to boost platelet counts. In some cases, surgery to remove the spleen may also be recommended by physicians. Common drug classes used to treat chronic ITP are systemic corticosteroids, plain, other hemostatics, and other disease-specific immunoglobulins.