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April 16, 1960


Author Affiliations

New England Center Hospital Harrison Avenue and Bennet Street Boston 11.

JAMA. 1960;172(16):1856-1857. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020160128022

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To the Editor:—  The article by Carpenter and others (J. A. M. A.171:1911 [Dec. 5] 1959) on the treatment of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is worth reading carefully. The apparently striking superiority of splenectomy (81% complete remissions) to corticosteroid therapy (38%) in this series of patients may have to be questioned as further statistics become available. Thus comparison of the results of splenectomy with those obtained by the larger doses of steroids used in patients in the New England Center Hospital would be desirable.Although the views from the two clinics may seem at first glance to be quite divergent, there are many points of agreement. Aside from the difficulties involved in interpreting carefully culled statistics derived from small numbers of clinical cases, the main lesson that may be drawn from the article is that one should not immediately decide that splenectomy is superior as a therapeutic method

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