Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is a bleeding disorder that occurs under the skin's surface. The bleeding disorder may be hard to detect, but it may reveal itself during infections such as a cold or the flu and pregnancy.
ITP is a disorder caused by a decrease in the number of platelets, which help control blood flow. Patients with an abnormal platelet decrease may show signs of purple-colored skin bruises and internal bleeding.
A typical platelet count ranges from 150,000 to 450,000; ITP patients demonstrate blood counts under 100,000. Nosebleeds are another common symptom of individuals experiencing ITP.
Physician treatment may be based on diagnostic testing, medical history and patient preference. Treatments can include spleen removal, steroids or infection control.
Preventing Disease Complications
ITP patients can monitor abnormal bleeding, such as nosebleeds, and wear protective head gear. Monitoring medications such as aspirin is advised because patients are prone to excessive bleeding.
This bleeding disorder can occur in both children and adults. Children are more likely to develop the acute (short-term) type, while adults develop a chronic (long-term) form of ITP.