Clinical updates in adult immune thrombocytopenia

Blood. 2017 May 25;129(21):2829-2835. doi: 10.1182/blood-2017-03-754119. Epub 2017 Apr 17.


Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) occurs in 2 to 4/100 000 adults and results in variable bleeding symptoms and thrombocytopenia. In the last decade, changes in our understanding of the pathophysiology of the disorder have led to the publication of new guidelines for the diagnosis and management of ITP and standards for terminology. Current evidence supports alternatives to splenectomy for second-line management of patients with persistently low platelet counts and bleeding. Long-term follow-up data suggest both efficacy and safety, in particular, for the thrombopoietin receptor agonists and the occurrence of late remissions. Follow-up of patients who have undergone splenectomy for ITP reveals significant potential risks that should be discussed with patients and may influence clinician and patient choice of second-line therapy. Novel therapeutics are in development to address ongoing treatment gaps.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage / blood
  • Hemorrhage / diagnosis
  • Hemorrhage / physiopathology
  • Hemorrhage / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Platelet Count
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic* / blood
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic* / diagnosis
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic* / physiopathology
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic* / therapy
  • Receptors, Thrombopoietin / agonists
  • Receptors, Thrombopoietin / metabolism
  • Splenectomy


  • Receptors, Thrombopoietin
  • MPL protein, human