Blood Transfusion - 3 2014

Efficacy of combined intravenous immunoglobulins and steroids in children with primary immune thrombocytopenia and persistent bleeding symptoms
Authors:  Emilia Parodi, Paola Giordano, Elisa Rivetti, Maria Teresa Giraudo, Giulia Ansaldi, Mirella Davitto, Anna Mondino, Piero Farruggia, Giovanni Amendola, Sofia M.R. Matarese, Francesca Rossi, Giovanna Russo, Ugo Ramenghi
Pages:  340-345
To cite this article:  Blood Transfus 2014; 12: 340-5
Doi:  10.2450/2014.0185-13
Published online:  19/03/2014

Background. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the combined administration of intravenous immunoglobulins and steroids as a second-line therapy in 34 children with primary immune thrombocytopenia and persistent, symptomatic bleeding.
Materials and methods. Combined therapy (intravenous immunoglobulins 0.4 g/kg daily on days 1 and 2, and methylprednisolone 20 mg/kg daily on days 1-3) was administered to 12 patients with newly diagnosed ITP who did not respond to the administration of a single therapy (either intravenous immunoglobulins or steroids) and to 22 children with persistent and chronic disease who required frequent administrations (i.e. more frequently than every 30 days) of either immunoglobulins or steroids (at the same standard dosages) in order to control active bleeding.
Results. A response (i.e. platelet count >50×109/L and remission of active bleeding) was observed in 8/12 (67%) patients with newly diagnosed ITP. The clinical presentation of responders and non-responders did not differ apparently. Patients in the chronic/persistent phase of disease had a significantly longer median period of remission from symptoms compared with the previous longest period of remission (p=0.016). The treatment was well tolerated.
Discussion. Our data suggest that the combined approach described is a well-tolerated therapeutic option for children with primary immune thrombocytopenia and persistent bleeding symptoms that can be used in both emergency and/or maintenance settings.
Keywords: primary immune thrombocytopenia, IVIG, steroids, children, ITP.
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