Understanding Immune Thrombocytopenia : Perspectives in ITP

Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP) is an autoimmune disease characterized by the improper functioning or destruction of platelets. Learn more about this rare disease from Caroline Kruse, Executive Director, Platelet Disorder Support Association (PDSA), and Meredith, a young woman living with ITP.

Immune thrombocytopenia is a bleeding disorder also known as Idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP) and affects children and adults. Children often develop ITP after a viral infection and usually recover fully without treatment. In adults, the disorder is often long term.

It is a disorder that can lead to easy or excessive bruising and bleeding. The bleeding results from unusually low levels of platelets — the cells that help blood clot.

In most cases, an autoimmune response is thought to cause Immune thrombocytopenia. Normally, your immune system helps your body fight off infections and diseases. But if you have Immune thrombocytopenia, your immune system attacks and destroys its own platelets. The reason why this happens isn’t known.