Immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) in children is a common pediatric bleeding disorder with heterogeneous manifestations and a natural history that is not fully understood. To better understand the natural history of chronic ITP and detect response trends and outcomes of therapy, we conducted a 10-year retrospective survey of children from age 1 to 18 years with a diagnosis of chronic ITP.
Data on 198 patients from 8 Canadian Pediatric Hematology/Oncology centers were analyzed. The majority of patients were female (58%), and were previously diagnosed with acute (primary) ITP (85%). The age at diagnosis of chronic ITP ranged from 1.1 to 17.2 years with a mean of 8.2+/-4.4 years. Ninety percent of patients received some form of treatment. Untreated patients had a higher mean platelet count at diagnosis of chronic ITP (P=0.009) despite similarities in mean age at first presentation and mean duration of follow-up. Thirty-four (17%) patients underwent splenectomy. Splenectomized patients tended to be significantly older, had a lower mean platelet count at diagnosis of chronic ITP, and had a longer duration of follow-up.
The results from this study are consistent with published reports.