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      Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

      What is idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)?

      ITP is a blood disorder characterized by an abnormal decrease in the number of platelets in the blood. Platelets are cells in the blood that help stop bleeding. A decrease in platelets can result in easy bruising, bleeding gums, and internal bleeding.

          * "Idiopathic" means the cause is unknown.
          * "Thrombocytopenia" means a decreased number of platelets in the blood.
          * "Purpura" refers to the purple discoloring of the skin, as with a bruise.

      What causes idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura?

      Idiopathic means no known cause. However, when a cause can be identified, it may be a result of the following:

          * medications (including over-the-counter medications)
          * infection
          * pregnancy
          * immune disorders


      Treatment for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura:

      Specific treatment for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura will be determined by your physician based on:

          * your age, overall health, and medical history
          * extent of the disease
          * your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
          * expectations for the course of the disease
          * your opinion or preference