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What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Immune Thrombocytopenia?

Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) may not cause any signs or symptoms. However, ITP can cause bleeding inside the body (internal bleeding) or underneath or from the skin (external bleeding). Signs of bleeding may include:

  • Bruising or purplish areas on the skin or mucous membranes (such as in the mouth). These bruises are called purpura. They're caused by bleeding under the skin, and they may occur for no known reason.
  • Pinpoint red spots on the skin called petechiae. These spots often are found in groups and may look like a rash. Bleeding under the skin causes petechiae.
  • A collection of clotted or partially clotted blood under the skin that looks or feels like a lump. This is called a hematoma.
  • Nosebleeds or bleeding from the gums (for example, during dental work).
  • Blood in the urine or stool (bowel movement).

Any kind of bleeding that's hard to stop could be a sign of ITP. This includes menstrual bleeding that's heavier than normal. Bleeding in the brain is rare, and its symptoms may vary.

A low platelet count doesn't directly cause pain, problems concentrating, or other symptoms. However, a low platelet count might be associated with fatigue (tiredness).

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March 14, 2012