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HIV and thrombocytopenia
Feb 7, 2000

Hi There,

I am not sure if I am directing my question to the correct expert but if I am not, please forward this to the appropriate individual.

I was wondering about HIV infection and thrombocytopenia. Specifically, when (or even if) thrombocytopenia may occur with HIV infection. Does this occur early (if early, how early - is it in the seroconversion phase or months/years after infection; or is it even known when exactly it may occur. Or does this occur in the later stages of infection or after conversion from HIV to AIDS.

Thanks

Raj

Response from Mr. Molaghan

Hello Raj

HIV-related immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) can occur at any period within the HIV disease spectrum, if platelet associated immunoglobulin is present. Other causes of HIV- related thrombocytopenia include circulating immune complexes that precipitate on the platelet surface, cross-reactive antibodies to platelet surface glycoproteins and direct retroviral infection of megakaryocytes. Most patients with HIV-related ITP have only minor submucosal bleeding or easy bruising, and the majority of patients with HIV- related ITP never have life threatening bleeding episodes. Treatments vary from no intervention to treatment with steroids, gamma globulin or splenectomy. Hope this information helps.


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