Childhood immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is a rare autoimmune bleeding disorder. Most children recover within 6 to 12 months, but individual course is difficult to predict. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to identify predictors of chronic ITP. We found 1399 articles; after critical appraisal, 54 studies were included. The following predictors of chronic ITP in children, assessed in at least 3 studies, have been identified: female gender (odds ratio [OR] 1.17, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04-1.31), older age at presentation (age ≥11 years; OR 2.47, 95% CI 1.94-3.15), no preceding infection or vaccination (OR 3.08, 95 CI 2.19-4.32), insidious onset (OR 11.27, 95% CI 6.27-20.27), higher platelet counts at presentation (≥20 × 10(9)/L: OR 2.15, 95% CI 1.63-2.83), presence of antinuclear antibodies (OR 2.87, 95% 1.57-5.24), and treatment with a combination of methylprednisolone and intravenous immunoglobulin (OR 2.67, 95% CI 1.44-4.96). Children with mucosal bleeding at diagnosis or treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin alone developed chronic ITP less often (OR 0.39, 95% CI 0.28-0.54 and OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.52-0.97, respectively). The protective effect of intravenous immunoglobulin is remarkable and needs confirmation in prospective randomized trials as well as future laboratory studies to elucidate the mechanism of this effect.
© 2014 by The American Society of Hematology.