Thrombocytopenia associated with environmental exposure to polyurethane

Am J Hematol. 1991 Oct;38(2):145-6. doi: 10.1002/ajh.2830380215.


Few chemicals in the environment have been implicated as causes of isolated thrombocytopenia, and the evidence is usually less than convincing because the patients were not rechallenged with the chemical in vivo. In the present paper, a child is reported with the onset of thrombocytopenia in temporal association with environmental exposure to polyurethane. Five years after the initial thrombocytopenia had resolved, an inadvertent in vivo rechallenge with environmental polyurethane resulted in recurrence of the thrombocytopenia. This recurrence, together with the fact that only 1-4% of cases of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura in children recur, provided strong evidence for a causal role for the polyurethane exposure in this patient's thrombocytopenia. In summary, environmental exposure to polyurethane should be considered in the differential diagnosis of acquired thrombocytopenia in childhood.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Polyurethanes / adverse effects*
  • Thrombocytopenia / chemically induced*
  • Thrombocytopenia / diagnosis


  • Polyurethanes