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Keywords:

  • wet purpura;
  • platelets;
  • autoimmunity;
  • paediatric haematology

Summary

This report documents our experience with intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) (1 g/kg, iv) and high-dose, anti-D immune globulin (anti-D) (75 μg/kg) as initial treatment for childhood immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). The medical records of children diagnosed with ITP at a single institution between January 2003 and May 2008 were retrospectively reviewed. Participants received either IVIG or high-dose anti-D immune globulin as their initial treatment for ITP. For the 53 patients included for analysis, there was no statistical difference in efficacy between each group; however, patients who received anti-D experienced a higher rate of adverse drug reactions (ADRs), particularly chills and rigours, and 2 of 24 patients in the anti-D group developed severe anaemia requiring medical intervention. Patients who presented with mucosal bleeding had higher rates of treatment failure (32%) compared to those who presented with dry purpura (6%), regardless of treatment. Both IVIG and high-dose anti-D are effective first-line therapies for childhood ITP. However, we observed increased ADRs in the high-dose anti-D group in contrast to previously published reports. Further studies are needed to evaluate safety and premedications for high-dose anti-D and to determine the utility of using the presence of mucosal bleeding to predict treatment failure.