<img src="//tracker.clixtell.com/track/t.gif">
Skip to the main content.
Call Us Now
Call Us Now

Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP): Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Regarding conditions like Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP), it's not just about understanding what it is but also about recognizing its signs, knowing its causes, and exploring available treatments.

Chronic and acute ITP are serious enough to affect your life. Speak with My Vaccine Lawyer to find out what you are entitled to.


Work With Us At No Cost

Have an Injury?

What Is ITP?

Immune Thrombocytopenia, commonly referred to as ITP, is a blood disorder associated by a decreased number of platelets in the blood. Platelets help with clotting and stop bleeding. Symptoms such as bruising, bleeding gums, and purpura (purple or red spots on the skin) may occur when their count is low.

ITP was formerly known as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. The term "idiopathic" implies that the cause is unknown, but we now understand that ITP is an autoimmune disorder. The body's immune system can mistakenly attack its platelets, destroying them and resulting in thrombocytopenia - an abnormally low platelet count.

There are two primary forms of ITP: acute and chronic. Acute ITP often lasts less than 6 months and is more common in children. In comparison, chronic ITP lasts 6 months or longer and is typically seen in adults, affecting women more than men. Despite being a challenging condition, understanding ITP is the first step towards managing it effectively.

Speak With Us Now


Hear Cheryl's Vaccine Injury Story

Cheryl suffered SIRVA (shoulder injury related to vaccine administration) following a flu shot. Her vaccine injury claim was filed in the VICP by vaccine lawyer Max Muller where she obtained a large cash settlement for her pain and suffering, lost wages and out of pocket medical expenses.

Speak to a Vaccine Lawyer

What causes ITP?

Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP) is a condition where the immune system, which is typically responsible for fighting infections, mistakenly attacks the body's platelets. This often happens when the immune system produces antibodies against these platelets. While the exact cause of ITP can sometimes be unknown, several factors have been associated with the development of this condition. Here are some key causes and risk factors:

  • Vaccines: Certain vaccines, particularly the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, can increase the risk of ITP. Recent studies have also pointed to a potential link between the administration of certain COVID-19 vaccines and the onset of Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP).
  • Infections: Certain infections, especially viral ones, can stimulate the production of antibodies that target platelets. Infections like HIV, hepatitis, and H. pylori have been associated with ITP. In children, ITP can follow viral infections.
  • Medications: Some medications can cause reactions that target platelets, increasing the risk of ITP.
  • Autoimmune diseases: There is a link between ITP and other autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
  • Primary and Secondary ITP: Primary ITP is not linked to other diseases, while Secondary ITP is associated with other conditions, such as autoimmune diseases or chronic viral infections.

It's important to note that ITP seems more common among young women, and certain risk factors, including certain medicines, infections, and vaccines, increase the likelihood of developing this condition.

Meet Our Founders

Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura Lawyers, Laws & Compensation

$120+ Million

The amount we've recovered for clients.


Clients represented across the country in the past 10 years.


SIRVA clients represented since 2020.

5 Stars

Average Google review score from past clients.

What are the symptoms of ITP?

Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP) is a condition marked by a decrease in platelets, the blood components that help to stop bleeding. A normal platelet count ranges from 150,000 to 450,000, but with ITP, this number can drop below 100,000. Significant bleeding occurs at counts below 10,000. The lower the platelet count, the greater the risk of bleeding.

Some individuals with ITP might not show any noticeable symptoms. However, when symptoms manifest, they are related to increased bleeding due to the decreased platelet count. Here's what you might observe:

  • Purple discoloration of skin: This occurs when blood "leaks" under the skin, often resembling large bruises without a known injury.
  • Bruises at joints: These appear from mere movement due to the fragility of blood vessels.
  • Tiny red dots (petechiae): appear under the skin due to very minor bleeding.
  • Reddish-purple spots Also known as purpura, mainly appear on the lower legs and resemble a rash.
  • Nosebleeds and gum bleeding: These are common symptoms of ITP.
  • Heavy menstrual periods: Some women may experience an unusually heavy menstrual flow.
  • Presence of blood in vomit, urine, or stools: This is a sign of internal bleeding.
  • Hematoma: Blood can clot or partially clot under the skin, forming lumps.
  • Bleeding in the head: This is one of the most dangerous symptoms, especially after a head injury when the platelet count is insufficient.
  • Extreme tiredness: This is also a manifestation of ITP.

These symptoms may resemble other medical conditions. Therefore, it is always advised to consult with a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis.

See Our Settlements

Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura Lawyers, Laws & Compensation

How Is ITP Diagnosed?

Diagnosing Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP) typically involves a series of blood tests, a full medical history, and a physical exam. Because ITP is often a diagnosis of exclusion, healthcare providers aim to exclude other causes of a low platelet count before confirming a diagnosis of ITP. Here are the steps usually taken in diagnosing ITP:

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC): CBC measures the size, number, and maturity of different blood cells in a specific blood volume. This count is primarily used to measure platelets.
  • Medical History and Physical Exam: Most of the time, ITP has no symptoms. As such, your healthcare provider will take a comprehensive medical history and perform a physical exam to help identify any signs or symptoms of ITP.
  • Additional Blood and Urine Tests: These assess bleeding time and infections and include the antiplatelet antibody test, which detects antibodies against platelets in the bloodstream.

For children, the diagnosis process is slightly different:

  • Diagnosis of Exclusion and Blood Test: A diagnosis of exclusion is made when all other potential problems have been ruled out. A blood test is then conducted to confirm the diagnosis.

For adults, the process may sometimes include an additional step:

  • Bone Marrow Aspiration or Biopsy: This is rarely needed but might be performed to look at the production of platelets and to rule out any abnormal cells the marrow may be producing that could lower platelet counts. A bone marrow aspiration becomes necessary for a diagnosis if the antiplatelet antibody testing is negative.

By following these steps, healthcare providers can accurately diagnose ITP and commence appropriate treatment.

Reach Out Today


What Are Some Complications of ITP?

While Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP) is generally manageable, certain complications arise, mainly due to the low platelet count associated with the condition. Here are some potential complications:

  • Bleeding Complications: This is a real concern, especially when platelet counts drop below a certain threshold. The most dangerous complication of ITP is severe bleeding, which can occur even from minor injuries.
  • Brain Bleeding: Although rare, intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) is a potentially fatal complication associated with ITP.
  • Long-Term Corticosteroid Use: Corticosteroids are commonly used to manage ITP but may have long-term side effects. These include osteoporosis, cataracts, muscle loss, increased infection susceptibility, and diabetes.
  • Splenectomy Risks: While removing the spleen can cure ITP in some cases, it does increase the risk of bacterial infections significantly.
  • Pregnancy Complications: Pregnant individuals with ITP require special attention to manage platelet counts and prevent heavy bleeding during delivery. While ITP generally does not affect the fetus, the baby's platelet count should be monitored after birth.

What Is the Prognosis for ITP?

The prognosis for Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP) varies based on several factors, including:

  • Disease type
  • Response to treatment
  • Age at disease onset
  • Sex
  • Severity of low platelet counts leading to serious bleeding complications

Despite these variables, most patients with ITP have a life expectancy similar to the general population.

Acute ITP predominantly affects children and often resolves spontaneously within six months or less without treatment. Over 80% of untreated children with acute ITP achieve clinical remission spontaneously.

On the other hand, Chronic ITP can last for many years. It is more common in adults; only about 2% of adults spontaneously recover. However, patients can survive for decades with the disease. Approximately 64% of adults with ITP recover with treatment, 30% develop chronic ITP, and about 5% die from a hemorrhage.

The overall prognosis for children and adults with ITP is generally good, with most patients achieving complete recovery. The prognosis for acute ITP is particularly favorable, while chronic ITP typically requires treatment and may involve relapses.

All Case Evaluations Are Free


How is ITP Treated?

The treatment for Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP) is determined by several factors, including the patient's age, overall health, the extent of the disease, tolerance for specific medications, and personal preference.

Some patients with mild ITP and no bleeding symptoms may not require specific treatment. However, for those who do, there are several options:

  • Steroids: These are often the first-line treatments for ITP. They help increase platelet counts by decreasing the activity of the immune system.
  • Intravenous Gamma Globulin (IVGG): This has to be given by an intravenous infusion and may take a couple of hours. IVGG works by blocking the antibodies that destroy platelets.
  • Rh Immune Globulin: This can be used in patients with certain blood types to boost the body's production of platelets.
  • Medication Changes: If a medication is suspected of causing ITP, your doctor may suggest changing or stopping that medication.
  • Infection Treatment: If your ITP is linked to an infection, treating that infection can help improve your platelet count.
  • Splenectomy: This surgical procedure removes the spleen, often the site of platelet destruction in ITP. Splenectomy can cure ITP in about 70% of chronic cases.
  • Platelet Transfusion: This might be necessary in severe cases, especially if there's significant bleeding or a risk of it.
  • Rituximab and other Monoclonal Antibodies to CD20: These are drugs that target and destroy B cells that produce antiplatelet antibodies.
  • Romiplostim and Eltrombopag (Thrombopoietin analogues): These medications stimulate the bone marrow to produce more platelets.
  • Lifestyle Changes: This can include avoiding activities that could cause injury and bleeding, eating a healthy diet, and taking care of your teeth and gums to prevent bleeding.

The severity and duration of ITP influence the choice of treatment. It's also important to note that relapses can occur, requiring repeat treatment, and viral infections may trigger them.

When Should I Talk to a Lawyer?

If you received a diagnosis of Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP) that you believe is linked to vaccination, it’s time to consult with vaccine lawyers. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) provides a means for individuals to seek compensation for vaccine-related injuries or illnesses, including ITP. Acting early offers several advantages. Generally, you have up to three years to file a claim for non-fatal vaccine-related issues. Many vaccine-related injuries, including some cases of ITP, are presumed to be caused by the vaccine if they occur within a specific timeframe, according to VICP guidelines. An experienced ITP vaccine injury lawyer will review your medical records and ensure they meet the requirements for a federal vaccine court claim without needing additional proof of causation. Early action also allows your vaccine injury attorney to prepare your claim for the Vaccine Court, a necessary step in the VICP claims process.

Remember that VICP claims can be lengthy, so starting early can increase your chances of receiving prompt compensation. To maximize your financial recovery through VICP, work with your lawyer to thoroughly document medical expenses, income loss, and suffering related to your ITP diagnosis.

Get Help Today


Don't worry, we're here to help.