thrombocytopenic purpura


Medical Definition of thrombocytopenic purpura

: a blood disorder that is marked by bleeding from small blood vessels especially into the skin and mucous membranes resulting in purplish bruises, petechiae, hematomas, nosebleeds, and bleeding from the gums and that is caused by a reduction in circulating blood platelets

Note: Thrombocytopenic purpura is an autoimmune disorder in which components of the immune system destroy platelets and sometimes impair their production. It typically occurs in adults as a chronic condition lasting one or more years and in children as an acute condition that lasts a few weeks to several months and is usually preceded by a viral illness. While thrombocytopenic purpura may arise secondary to a preexisting condition (such as systemic lupus erythematosis or hepatitis C), it is generally idiopathic, arising spontaneously or having an obscure trigger.

called also purpura hemorrhagica, Werlhof's disease

— compare thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura

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Cite this Entry

“Thrombocytopenic purpura.” Medical Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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