Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura





Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (sometimes referred to as primary immune thrombocytopenia) is an autoimmune bleeding disorder. It is characterized by the inability of the blood to clot due to an inadequate amount of thrombocytes or platelets.

This can either be acute or chronic, and is the result of the body’s destruction of the blood platelets by antiplatelet antibodies. The acute disorder is more common during childhood that typically occurs after a systemic viral illness, and can last for about a month or two. The chronic disorder, on the other hand, usually happens between ages 20 to 40, and is thrice more common in women. It can potentially last for years, or even indefinitely.



Since this condition is referred to as idiopathic, it simply means that its cause is unknown. What is known about this condition is that the immune system of the person with thrombocytopenic purpura malfunctions and begins to attack his own platelets thinking that they are foreign bodies that need to be rejected by the body.

Once the immune system malfunctions, antibodies adhere to the platelets, marking them as substances that should be destroyed. The spleen then takes care of expelling them from the body. With this phenomenon, the platelet level becomes lower than the ideal range.

People who are suffering from ITP usually have a platelet count of 20,000 per microliter, instead of the normal 150,000-450,000 platelets per microliter.

Children who are afflicted with ITP usually get it after a viral infection such mumps. It is believed that the infection somehow prompts the immune system to malfunction.


Signs and Symptoms

A person with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura may not always display tangible symptoms. But if and when symptoms do appear, they may include the following:

  • Purpura – purplish discolorations on the skin that indicate easy or excessive bruising;
  • Petechiae (especially in the lower extremities) – tiny (pinpoint) red/purple spots on the skin that indicate broken capillaries;
  • Bleeding that is spontaneous or prolonged (such as from cuts, nosebleeds, dental work, etc.);
  • Internal bleeding;
  • Abnormally heavy menstrual flow; and
  • Fatigue.



The treatment for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura highly subjective to the seriousness of the bleeding and/or bruising episodes and the laboratory results of the platelet count. ITP in general is not a life-threatening or critical condition. Some cases are even so mild that they do not need any treatment at all.

Acute ITP manifested in children usually goes away after a while without having a need for treatment. The bruising may fade away within a few weeks or months, and the platelet count returns to normal within a year.

For chronic ITP, it can vary in different individuals and may usually last for several years. If the symptoms get out of hand, further medical or surgical treatment may be required to manage the condition.


Disability Tax Credits for Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura


Disability tax credits may be sought by people who are living a life with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. In doing so, HandyTax may be able to help you accomplish this task through the assistance of our friendly customer service representatives. If you or your child has been diagnosed by this condition, you may be able to secure a disability tax certificate to support your claim. You may be qualified for a disability tax refund; or your child may be able to apply for child disability benefits.