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March 1977

Childhood Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura: To Treat or Not To Treat

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Blood Diseases and Resources, NHLBI, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md (Dr Zuelzer) and Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, and Department of Hematology-Oncology, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit (Dr Lusher).

Am J Dis Child. 1977;131(3):360-362. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1977.02120160114019

• Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura-(ITP) in children is generally a benign, self-limited process with spontaneous recovery occurring within a matter of days or weeks. Management remains somewhat controversial to date, however, and the controversy surrounding the use or nonuse of corticosteroids will no doubt continue until critical data become available. At present, there is little or no evidence to support the claim that steroids shorten the natural course of the disease. Furthermore, evidence that steroids lessen the risk of intracranial hemorrhage is conspicuously lacking. The authors no longer use steroids in ITP; however, if one does elect to use steroids, a selective approach based on an assessment of the severity of the bleeding tendency is recommended.

(Am J Dis Child 131:360-362, 1977)