What are the causes of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura ?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Oct 08, 2012
Quick Bites

  • The condition leads to easy and excessive bruising and bleeding.
  • The low levels of platelets leads to bleeding.
  • Exact cause of the condition is still not known.
  • The immune system malfunctions attack the platelets


Idiopathic thrombocytopenic is a condition which results in easy and excessive bruising and bleeding. The low levels of platelets leads to bleeding. The condition is also knows as immune thrombocytponic purpura and it can affect both children and adults.

Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

Children may develop the condition after a viral infection and usually do not require any treatment as the infection goes away on its own after some time while in adults the condition is often chronic.


Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura usually does not have any symptoms. But when the signs and symptoms occur they may include:

  • Easy or excessive bruising
  • Superficial bleeding in the skin
  • Prolonged bleeding from the wounds
  • Spontaneous bleeding from nose
  • Bleeding gums
  • Fatigue



The exact cause of the condition is not known yet however, it have been noticed that the immune system malfunctions begins to attack the platelets in  people with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. Antibodies produced from the immune system attach themselves to the platelets and the spleen which helps the body in fighting the infection recognises the antibodies and removes those platelets from the system. The situation is often mistaken for lower number of circulating platelets than is normal.
The normal count of platelets is higher than 150, 000 platelets per microliter of circulating blood while people who have ITP often have platelet counts less than 20, 000.  Less the number of platelets more the risk of increased bleeding.


Image Courtesy : Getty

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