Immune thrombocytopenia secondary to tuberculosis: A case and review of literature

S. F. Weber, S. Bélard, S. Rai, R. Reddy, S. Belurkar, K. Saravu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is an auto-immune condition that results in isolated thrombocytopenia associated with possibly lethal haemorrhage. In its secondary form, ITP can be triggered by many infectious and non-infectious conditions. Secondary ITP associated with tuberculosis (TB) has rarely been described in the literature. We report on a 22-year-old patient presenting with hypermenorrhoea and petechiae due to ITP secondary to tuberculous lymphadenitis. Normalisation of thrombocytopenia was only achieved after initiation of anti-tuberculosis treatment following failure of thrombocyte substitution and immune-modulatory treatment. A search of the literature available on TB-associated ITP identified 50 cases published between 1964 and 2016.We reviewed all cases using suggested case definitions on the likelihood of association between ITP and TB. A broad spectrum of TB sites was reported to be associated with ITP, and anti-tuberculosis treatment was the most effective therapy for platelet count normalisation. Time from initiation of anti-tuberculosis treatment to platelet count recovery ranged from 2 days to 3 months. In endemic regions, TB should be considered as an underlying cause of ITP. Early diagnosis of TB and initiation of anti-tuberculosis treatment appears crucial for rapid platelet count recovery, and can reduce the risks associated with long-term immunosuppression, transfusions and the time at risk for haemorrhage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-470
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01-04-2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases


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