Inflammatory bowel disease associated with immune thrombocytopenic purpura in children

Leslie M. Higuchi, Steven Joffe, Ellis J. Neufeld, Sally Weisdorf, Joel Rosh, Simon Murch, Attila Devenyi, John F. Thompson, Jeffery D. Lewis, Athos Bousvaros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: Previous reports suggest an association between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) in adults. To date, only five children with both diseases have been described. The aim of the study was to describe the characteristics of children with IBD and ITP. Methods: Cases were obtained from the pediatric gastroenterology community by means of the pediatric gastroenterology internet bulletin board in June 1999. Eight cases were submitted from seven medical centers. Medical records were reviewed by two pediatric gastroenterologists and a pediatric hematologist. Results: The age range of the patients was 2.1 to 16.5 years, with a mean age of 9.6 ± 5.2 years. Four children had ulcerative colitis, three had Crohn disease, and one had indeterminate colitis. All had colonic involvement of IBD. Of eight patients, three had IBD first, three had ITP first, and two had both simultaneously. At ITP diagnosis, platelet count was less than 10,000/mL in five children, 17,000/mL in one child, and 50,000 to 60,000/mL in two children. Of the three children diagnosed with ITP first, two initially had rectal bleeding at the time of ITP diagnosis. Bone marrow evaluations, performed in six of eight children, were consistent with ITP. Six of the eight children had chronic IT P, including three children who were 5 years of age or younger. Therapy for ITP included steroids (n = 6), intravenous immunoglobulin (n = 6), Rh(D) intravenous immunoglobulin (n = 2), and splenectomy (n = 1). Conclusions: The authors describe the largest pediatric case series of children with IBD and ITP. More than 50% of the children had the chronic form of ITP. Most patients responded to conventional therapy for ITP and IBD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582-587
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Crohn's disease
  • Immune thrombocytopenic purpura
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Ulcerative colitis


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