John Libbey Eurotext



Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and antiphospholipid syndrome: differences and similarities Volume 9, issue 2, Mars 2003


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Unité d‘hémostase, Division d‘Angiologie et Hémostase, Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève, Suisse. Division d‘Oncologie‐Hématologie, Hôpital Universitaire des Enfants, Bâle, Suisse.

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) and antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) are both auto‐immune disorders characterised by two different complications, bleeding in ITP and thrombosis in APS. Some similarities exist however between these two affections; indeed in 20‐30% of cases of APS thrombocytopenia is observed and antiphospholipid antibodies are present in more than 30% of ITP. Some cases classified first as ITP are then considered as APS and both affections can progress to a systemic lupus erythematosus. For these reasons it seems important not only to search for a thrombocytopenia in case of APS but also to systematically look for the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies in case of ITP. Moreover, when thrombocytopenia is corrected in ITP, antithrombotic prophylaxis could be proposed if antiphospholipid antibodies are present. Indeed, although no study has validated such attitude, these patients are at high risk to develop thrombotic complications.