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Research Article

Planned splenectomy in treatment of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura.

Br Med J 1975; 1 doi: (Published 11 January 1975) Cite this as: Br Med J 1975;1:64

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  1. A I Macpherson,
  2. J Richmond


    The results of a policy of treatment in idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura based on previous observations on the natural history of the disease and its response to corticosteroids are described. The results of splenectomy were better when the history was less than 100 days. Three patterns of response to splenectomy were observed: complete remission, symptomatic remission, and relapse. The prognosis can be determined by the level of the platelet count six weeks after splenectomy. Corticosteroid treatment for more than three weeks before splenectomy noticeably increased the incidence of complications after operation. Splenectomy can safely be performed in pregnancy. The decision to operate should be made on the maternal condition and its response to corticosteroids.