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Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)

An autoimmune disorder in which platelets are killed, leading to bleeding under the skin. 

ITP can be chronic or acute.  Chronic ITP often affects adults and is very serious.  Initial treatment is with corticosteroid drugs; if this is not successful, a splenectomy (surgical removal of the spleen) is needed.  Immunosuppressant drugs can be administered if all other treatment fails.

Acute ITP generally affects children, it usually mild, and disappears without treatment.  

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