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Surveillance of Severe Primary Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP) in pregnancy

Principal investigator
Zarko Alfirevic (University of Liverpool)
Angharad Care (University of Liverpool), Marian Knight (NPEU)
Severe maternal morbidity and mortality
ITP Support Association
Start year
End year
NPEU Contact
Marian Knight


Primary Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP) describes an acquired immunological disorder characterized by an isolated low platelet count (thrombocytopenia) necessary for normal clotting function. The symptoms of ITP vary widely even with extremely low platelet counts, patients can suffer minimal bruising to serious bleeding, including gastrointestinal haemorrhage, extensive mucosal bleeding or intracranial haemorrhage. Current treatment recommendations for ITP in pregnancy are largely based on clinical experience and expert consensus.There are no high quality prospective studies or randomized clinical trials to inform management of the mother or delivery. First line treatments include corticosteroids and/or immunoglobulin. At present there are no randomized trials of intravenous immunoglobulin versus corticosteroids in women with ITP in pregnancy. Without clear guidance or a strong evidence base for treatment of this rare condition it is unknown how this patient cohort is currently managed in the UK. This study aimed to estimate the current incidence and describe management and treatment of severe ITP in pregnancy in the UK. Data analysis is currently underway.