The serum thrombopoietin (TPO) levels in 61 idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) patients were found to be slightly increased compared with those of 29 normal subjects. The TPO levels of the 15 ITP patients who had a poor response to steroid therapy (i.e. an unchanged platelet count) were higher than those of the 22 ITP patients who had a good response to steroid therapy (i.e. an increased platelet count) and the normal subjects. The TPO levels in the 15 ITP patients whose platelet count was higher than 10 x 104/μl after the discontinuation of steroid therapy significantly higher than those of the normal subjects. The platelet-associated immunoglobulin G (PAIgG) levels in the ITP patients who had a poor response to steroid therapy were slightly increased compared with the normal subjects and the ITP patients who had a good response to the steroid therapy and the nine ITP patients who did not undergo the steroid therapy. The serum TPO level was negatively correlated only with the megakaryocyte count in the ITP patients, and the megakaryocyte count in the ITP patients who had good responses to the steroid therapy was higher than that in those who had poor responses. These data suggest that serum TPO levels might be important for the prediction of the outcome of ITP patients who receive steroid therapy.
- Steroid therapy
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