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January 18, 1980

Acute Idiopathic Polyneuritis and Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

JAMA. 1980;243(3):256-257. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300290038019

ACUTE idiopathic polyneuritis (AIP) and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) are both thought to be examples of autoimmune diseases, although different immune mechanisms are active in each disorder.1,2 To my knowledge, they have never been reported to occur in the same patient simultaneously. I recently had the opportunity to observe a patient who had both illnesses several days after an upper respiratory tract infection. This case is of interest because immune complexes play a prominent role in the development of ITP,2 and a pathogenic role of immune complexes has been suggested in AIP, which is otherwise considered to be a cell-mediated immune process.3

Report of a Case  A 30-year-old woman was admitted to the University of Wisconsin Hospitals on June 9, 1978, complaining of profound weakness. She had been well until ten days before admission, when an upper respiratory tract infection developed, consisting of coryza and sore throat,