Platelet E-News: May 27, 2011

This e-newsletter is a monthly publication of the Platelet Disorder Support Association. The information in this newsletter is for educational purposes only. For advice on your unique medical condition, please consult a health care professional.


ITP and Platelet Disorders Research and Treatments

Hospitals, Insurance, and Medical Care

General Health and Medicine


ITP and Platelet Disorders Research and Treatments



In the first study of thrombopoietin mimetics in children with chronic or persistent ITP, 88% of the participants in the NPlate group achieved a platelet count greater than 50,000 for at least two consecutive weeks compared to zero participants in the placebo group. There were no treatment-related serious adverse events. As with adults using this treatment, the most common complaints were headaches and nose bleeds.

For more information about thrombopoietin mimetics see:

Bussel JB et al. “A randomized, double-blind study of romiplostim to determine its safety and efficacy in children with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP).” Blood. 2011 Apr 18. [Epub ahead of print]




Researchers examined the insurance data of 3,244 people with persistent or chronic ITP to determine if there was a pattern of liver test abnormalities in this group. In each of the four different liver tests they performed, about four percent of the people with ITP had abnormal test results. Male gender and those with other diseases in addition to ITP were more likely to have results out of the normal range. These findings make it difficult to tell if the treatments for ITP or other conditions are responsible when abnormal liver test results are found in this population.

Enger C et al. "Hepatobiliary laboratory abnormalities among patients with chronic or persistent immune thrombocytopenia (ITP)." Ann Hepatol.2011 Apr 1;10(2):188-95.




Oxidative stress, an unhealthy byproduct of your cells combining with oxygen (think iron and rust), creates free radicals that can strip electrons from your cells like a tornado going through your body. In a novel study of children with ITP, scientists found those children with longer-lasting ITP had higher levels of VNN1 and a lower glutathione ratio, both markers for oxidative stress, than healthy controls or those children with short-lived ITP. They conclude that oxidative stress plays a causal role in chronic pediatric ITP.

Imbach P. "Oxidative stress may cause ITP." Blood. 2011 Apr 28;117(17) 4405-6.

Zhang B et al. "The role of vanin-1 and oxidative stress-related pathways in distinguishing acute and chronic pediatric ITP.” Blood. 2011 Apr 28;117(17):4569-79.

Weil A, "Stumped by Oxidative Stress?"




Hospitals, Insurance, and Medical Care



Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a new program, Partnership for Patients, to help save 60,000 lives and potentially $35 billion in health care costs in the next three years by stopping preventable injuries and treatment complications. More than 500 hospitals, nursing organizations, and consumer groups have pledged their commitment to this program. To launch this program, HHS is investing $1 billion dollars made available by the Affordable Care Act.

HHS Press Release "Partnership for patients to improve care and lower costs for Americans." April 12, 2011.




The Center for Medicare & Medicaid, as part of their new Innovation Center, is soliciting "innovative ideas about how care can be delivered and paid for in ways that will save money while improving health and healthcare." You can read more about the program and submit your ideas at




General Health and Medicine



Researchers at Scripps Institute found a protein, STIM1, in immune cells that, when triggered by either higher or lower-than-normal body temperatures, communicates with killer T.cells, white blood cells that play a role in regulating your immune system. This type of protein is unique in that it translates a physical property, temperature, into a chemical cell signal. STM1 is also found in platelets, leading researchers to speculate that they may play a role in the temperature-immune connection.

“Scripps Research scientists show how shifts in temperature prime immune response.” Public release date: 6-May-2011

Xiao B et al. “Temperature-dependent STIM1 activation induces Ca(2+) influx and modulates gene expression.” Nat Chem Biol. 2011 Apr 17. [Epub ahead of print]




Some hand sanitizers claim they can protect against MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), a bacteria that can cause severe, life-threatening infections. This is not true, according to Edward Cox, M.D., M.P.H., Director of the FDA’s Office of Antimicrobial Products. The FDA has not approved any products that claim to prevent MRSa, H1N1, e-coli, or salmonella. The FDA warns consumers to be wary of unsubstantiated hand-sanitizer claims and to report any suspected violations or side effects to the FDA.

“Hand Sanitizers Carry Unproven Claims to Prevent MRSA Infections.”





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