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Keywords:

  • thrombocytopenia;
  • GM-CSF;
  • cytokines;
  • neutropenia;
  • haemolytic anaemia

Serum levels of GM-CSF, IL-3 and IL-6 were measured in patients with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), non-immune thrombocytopenia (NIT), autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AIHA) and neutropenia. 8/10 children with ITP had elevated serum levels of GM-CSF (mean 18.4 pg/ml) while thrombocytopenic, but only two had detectable levels (mean 4.5 pg/ml) after normalization of the platelet count. In patients with NIT a significant inverse correlation between platelet count and serum levels of GM-CSF was observed. IL-3 and IL-6 levels were not significantly elevated in thrombocytopenic patients and only two of the nine patients with either AIHA or neutropenia had detectable levels of GM-CSF. Thus, GM-CSF may play a role in the response to severe thrombocytopenia.