Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP)

What is immune thrombocytopenia?

ITP is a rare, often chronic bleeding disorder where reduced numbers of platelets (cells that stop or prevent bleeding) can lead to an increased risk of bleeding and bruising, and an impaired quality of life, especially due to severe fatigue and fear about the condition.

ITP occurs when the immune system produces IgG antibodies that destroy platelets and reduce platelet production. In primary ITP, the trigger of the autoimmune response is not known. There is another form of ITP, called secondary ITP, which results from another underlying condition.

Patients with ITP may experience no symptoms, symptoms only when platelet count is low, or visible and severe signs of bleeding including bruises and other sign markings, nose bleeds and bleeding gums, as well as bleeding inside the body.

ITP can also lead to debilitating fatigue and can impact mental health.