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February 1962

Evaluation of Platelet Antibodies in Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine of The Johns Hopkins University and Hospital.; Fellow in Medicine, American Heart Association (Dr. Corn); Fellow in Medicine, American Cancer Society (Dr. Upshaw).

Arch Intern Med. 1962;109(2):157-167. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620140029006

Introduction  The suggestion that antibodies to platelets are responsible for the thrombocytopenia of "idiopathic" thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is based on three observations: (a) infants born of mothers with ITP sometimes exhibit thrombocytopenia1; (b) normal volunteers who receive infusions of plasma from patients with ITP sometimes develop thrombocytopenia2; (c) transfused platelets do not circulate as long in patients with ITP as in normal recipients.3 These phenomena indicate that a constituent of the blood of some patients with ITP is able to depress platelet levels of normal persons. These observations, however, are not proof of an antigen-antibody reaction, and it is not known whether this platelet-depressing activity is, in fact, capable of affecting the patient's own platelets.Platelet antibodies have been demonstrated in patients with thrombocytopenia induced by drugs, such as allyl-isopropyl-acetyl-carbamide (Sedormid),4 quinidine,5 quinine,6 and novobiocin7; and in patients who have received transfusions.8-10

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