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. 2013 Apr;19(2):129-34.

Intracranial Haemorrhage Among Chinese Children With Immune Thrombocytopenia in a Hong Kong Regional Hospital

  • PMID: 23535672
Free article

Intracranial Haemorrhage Among Chinese Children With Immune Thrombocytopenia in a Hong Kong Regional Hospital

M Y So et al. Hong Kong Med J. .
Free article


Objective: To evaluate potential risk factors, presenting symptoms, management, and outcomes of intracranial haemorrhage in Chinese children with immune thrombocytopenia managed in a regional hospital.

Design: Retrospective case series.

Setting: A regional hospital in Hong Kong.

Patients: All paediatric patients with immune thrombocytopenia complicated by intracranial haemorrhage in the period January 1996 to December 2009.

Results: Nine episodes of intracranial haemorrhage were reported in eight patients (aged 0.9 to 19 years) with immune thrombocytopenia; three of the patients had acute immune thrombocytopenia and the other five had chronic immune thrombocytopenia. Intracranial haemorrhage occurred as early as the initial presentation with immune thrombocytopenia (n=2) and as late as up to 5 years after the diagnosis. The median platelet count at the time of intracranial haemorrhage was 12 x 10(9) /L (<10 x 10(9) /L [n=4]; 10-20 x 10(9) /L [n=2]; >20 x 10(9) /L [n=3]). The bleeding was considered spontaneous in six episodes, while head trauma (n=2) and vascular malformation (n=1) were identified in three patients with mild-to-moderate thrombocytopenia (42-82 x 10(9) /L) at the time of the bleed. Headache and mucosal bleeding were the commonest presenting symptoms (n=5). All patients received multimodal treatment after diagnosis of intracranial haemorrhage, and included platelet transfusion (n=8), intravenous immunoglobulin (n=6), methylprednisolone (n=4), and splenectomy (n=4); three individuals underwent neurosurgical interventions. One (11%) patient died of posterior fossa bleeding and one (11%) had neurological sequelae. All survivors achieved remission of their immune thrombocytopenia with a median follow-up of 5.3 years.

Conclusion: Intracranial haemorrhage can occur anytime during the course of immune thrombocytopenia. A high index of suspicion for intracranial haemorrhage should be maintained during follow-up, as favourable outcomes can be achieved after early and vigorous interventions.

Keywords: Child; Chinese; Intracranial hemorrhages; Purpura, thrombocytopenic, idiopathic.

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