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Randomised Trial Of Intravenous Immunoglobulin G, Intravenous Anti-D, And Oral Prednisone In Childhood Acute Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura

V. Blanchette, M. Adams, E. Wang, J. McMillan, P. Imbach, M. Andrew, R. Milner, K. Ali, D. Barnard, M. Bernstein, D. Esseltine, K. Chan, B. deVeber, S. Israels, N. Kobrinsky, B. Luke
Published 1994 · Medicine

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The most serious complication of childhood acute immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), intracranial haemorrhage, occurs in about 1% of children with platelet counts below 20 x 10(9)/L. We conducted a randomised study to explore three treatment options in this high-risk group. 146 children (> 6 months and < 18 years old) with typical acute ITP and platelet counts of 20 x 10(9)/L or lower were randomised to receive high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin G (IVIgG) 1 g/kg on 2 consecutive days (n = 34), 0.8 g/kg once (n = 35), intravenous anti-D 25 micrograms/kg on 2 consecutive days (n = 38), or oral prednisone 4 mg/kg per day with tapering and discontinuation of prednisone by day 21 (n = 39). The rate of response as reflected by the number of days with platelet counts at 20 x 10(9)/L or lower and the time taken to achieve a platelet count 50 x 10(9)/L or more was significantly faster for both IVIgG groups than for the anti-D group (p < 0.05); the difference between prednisone and IVIgG was significant (p < 0.05) only for the IVIgG 0.8 g/kg group, and responses to the two IgG groups were similar. These differences in response rates were reflected in the percentages of children with platelet counts of 20 x 10(9)/L or lower at 72 hours following the start of treatment: 3% (IVIgG 0.8 g/kg x 1), 6% (IVIgG 1 g/kg x 2), 18% (anti-D), and 21% (oral prednisone 4 mg/kg/day). Treatment-associated toxicities included a fall in haemoglobin with anti-D (to less than 100 g/L in 24% of cases); weight gain with oral prednisone; and fever, nausea, vomiting, and headache with IVIgG. On the basis of these results, intravenous anti-D cannot be recommended as initial therapy for children with acute ITP and platelet counts of 20 x 10(9)/L or lower. A single dose of 0.8 g/kg IVIgG offers the fastest recovery for the least treatment; additional IgG or oral prednisone can be reserved for the one-third of children who continue to have platelet counts of 20 x 10(9)/L or less at 48-72 hours after the start of treatment.
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