Immune-Mediated Platelet Destruction

In addition to ITP, there are other diseases where the immune system causes platelet destruction in the bone marrow or in circulation, resulting in thrombocytopenia. 

Common types of immune-mediated platelet destruction include:

Acquired aplastic anemia 

Aplastic anemia is a group of inherited and acquired disorders characterized by pancytopenia, low blood cell counts for all blood cell types. Evidence is accumulating that the disorder is immune mediated.

Resources for acquired aplastic anemia:

Fetal Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenic Purpura (FNAIT)

Fetal and neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (FNAIT) is a rare condition that results from incompatibility between the expecting mother and her developing baby for platelet-specific antigens. The condition affects 1out of every 1,000 births in North American. FNAIT is a blood-related condition that leads to the formation of maternal antibodies that result in the developing baby having thrombocytopenia either before or soon after being born. It is a result of an antigen inherited from the father (most commonly HPA-1a) that the babies biological mother lacks. Maternal immunoglobulin G antibodies against this antigen from the biological father form, causing a low platelet count in the baby. The condition in both the fetus or newborn can range from mild thrombocytopenia to severe thrombocytopenia (very low platelet count) with spontaneous bleeding. Typically, the pregnant mother is healthy, and has a normal platelet count, however the fetus or newborn is affected by a low platelet count with variable bleeding symptoms.  

Resources for FNAIT:

Post-Transfusion Purpura (PTP)

A rare complication of blood transfusions, post-transfusion purpura (PTP) is characterized by severe thrombocytopenia occurring several days to a week after receiving blood or platelets. This condition generally occurs in women who have previously developed antibodies against foreign platelets during pregnancy (called ‘alloantigens’). These individuals do not have problems until they are exposed to foreign platelets by transfusion later in life. The immune response affects not only the transfused platelets, but also the patient’s own platelets.

Resources and research providing insight into PTP, and thrombocytopenia include:

Cyclic (cyclical) Thrombocytopenia

Cyclic thrombocytopenia is a rare platelet disorder characterized by regular fluctuations in platelet count often, but not necessarily, coinciding with a menstrual cycle. 

Resources and research providing insight into cyclic thrombocytopenia include:

Common Variable Immune Deficiency

Common variable immune deficiency is an immune disorder that may be inherited in some cases, characterized by a low level of protective antibodies, recurrent infections and possibly a large spleen. About 25 percent of people with this type of immune deficiency develop ITP.

Resources and research offering more insight into common variable immune deficiency include:



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