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Keywords:

  • electron microscopy;
  • idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura;
  • sinusoidal fibrosis

ABSTRACT— Three patients showing all the symptoms of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura underwent a splenectomy. A wedge liver biopsy revealed hepatic fibrosis around central veins and an increased perisinusoidal network on Sirius red staining. Fibrosis was moderate or mild. Liver histology was otherwise normal, as were liver function tests. Hepatic fibrosis could not be attributed to any known causes. Electron microscopy showed numerous Kupffer cells with intense phagocytic activity, and perisinusoidal cells with some of the characteristics of fibro/myofibroblasts. The mechanisms of fibrosis remain unknown but could be attributed, by analogy to agnogenic myeloid metaplasia, to the massive destruction of platelets liberating PDGF and to increased activation of macrophages.