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October 18, 1976

Platelet Transfusion in Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura

Author Affiliations

Massachusetts General Hospital Boston

JAMA. 1976;236(16):1847. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03270170013015

To the Editor.—  In a recent editorial in The Journal, Dr William Crosby recommended platelet transfusions for those patients with immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) who had substantial bleeding ("wet purpura").1 A case in which we found an improvement in hemostasis and a conspicuous rise in the platelet count following platelet transfusion prompted us to review the experience at our institution with platelet transfusion in ITP.

Report of a Case.—  A 56-year-old woman had a one-week history of unexplained bruising and bleeding gums. She had taken no medications and was otherwise feeling well. Physical examination was noteworthy only for generalized petechiae and ecchymoses and oozing gums. The hematocrit reading was 33% and the WBC count was 6,900/cu mm, with a normal differential cell count and a platelet count of 5,000/cu mm. A bone marrow biopsy specimen demonstrated adequate megakaryocytes without any diagnostic abnormality. Ten minutes after the administration of six