The medical abbreviation "ITP" stands for "Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura", which is a bleeding disorder characterized by low platelet count (thrombocytopenia) and purpura (small red or purple spots on the skin or mucous membranes) due to abnormal bleeding.
In ITP, the immune system produces antibodies that target and destroy the patient's own platelets, leading to decreased platelet count and increased risk of bleeding. The cause of ITP is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve a malfunction of the immune system.
ITP is often classified into two forms: acute and chronic. Acute ITP is typically a self-limited condition that occurs in children after a viral infection, and resolves on its own within weeks to months. Chronic ITP, on the other hand, is a long-term condition that can occur in both children and adults, and may require ongoing treatment to prevent bleeding complications.
Treatment of ITP depends on the severity of the condition and the risk of bleeding. Mild cases may not require treatment, while severe cases may require hospitalization and blood transfusions. Common treatments include corticosteroids, intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), and immunosuppressive drugs. In some cases, surgical removal of the spleen (splenectomy) may be necessary to reduce platelet destruction.