Immune thrombocytopenia: A review of upfront treatment strategies

Blood Rev. 2021 Sep:49:100822. doi: 10.1016/j.blre.2021.100822. Epub 2021 Mar 8.


Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), resulting from antibody-mediated platelet destruction combined with impaired platelet production, is a rare cause of thrombocytopenia in both children and adults. The decision to treat newly diagnosed patients is based on several factors, including the desire to increase platelet count to prevent bleeding, induce remission, and improve health-related quality of life (HRQoL). At present, standard first-line therapy is corticosteroids. While this treatment does increase the platelet count in many patients, a high percentage still relapse after discontinuation of therapy. For this reason, alteration or intensification of first-line therapy that results in superior long-term remission rates is desirable. The objective of this review is to outline different upfront strategies for newly diagnosed patients with ITP in an effort to potentially enhance remission rates and prevent relapse, taking into account an assessment of the risks and benefits of each approach. We primarily focus on adults with ITP, highlighting pediatric data and practice when applicable.

Keywords: First-line therapy; HRQoL; Immune thrombocytopenia; Rituximab; Thrombopoeitin-receptor agonists; Treatment guidelines.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease Management
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic / diagnosis
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic / genetics
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic / therapy*