Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), also called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when the body attacks its own platelets and destroys them too quickly. Platelets are a part of blood that helps control bleeding. ITP affects at least 3,000 children under the age of 16 each year in the United States.
While ITP often arises after a viral infection, for the majority of cases the cause is unknown.
Luckily, acute ITP, the most common form, usually goes away on its own over the course of weeks or months, sometimes without treatment. Chronic ITP, which appears most frequently in adults, occasionally is seen in children. This form of ITP is more serious, lasting for years and typically requiring specialized follow-up care.
ITP Treatment at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center
Children and young adults with immune thrombocytopenia are treated through the Blood Disorders Center within the Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.