Outpatient Management of Patients with Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP) by Hematologists 1995-2014

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Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the treatment reality for outpatients with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) managed by hematologists in routine care. Patients and Methods: All patients with ITP diagnosed between 06/1995 and 12/2014 in a community-based oncology group practice in Germany were retrospectively analyzed. Results: 422 patients with a median age of 55 years (range 7-91 years) were evaluated. 57% were female and 43% male. Only 198 (47%) patients needed therapy. First-line therapy (n = 198) consisted of steroids in 81%, intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG) in 12%, and IVIG plus steroids in 6%. Patients received a median of 2 (range 1-10) lines of therapy. The most frequently used treatment modalities were steroids in 93%, IVIG in 55%, splenectomy in 21%, and other immunosuppressive agents (OISA) in 23% of patients. Rituximab and thrombopoietin receptor agonists (TRAs) were used in 10% and 6% only. 9 (2%) patients needed hospitalization due to bleeding complications. 72% of patients achieved a durable remission after their last line of therapy. 1 (0.2%) patient died due to bleeding complications. Conclusion: The treatment modalities most frequently used are steroids, immunoglobulins, splenectomy, and OISA. Rituximab and TRAs are only used infrequently. 72% of ITP patients achieve durable remissions. The rate of hospital admissions due to bleeding complications and the ITP-related mortality are low. The majority of ITP patients can be safely managed by hematologists on an outpatient basis.

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