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hepatitis C and ITP : co-relationship and co-treatment
Nov 17, 2003

my wife is suffering from hepatitis C and platelets shortage disease (ITP). Please guide me for better treatment and diagonostic procedure. Also brief me about the main cause of diseases and their inter relationship if any. thanks

Response from Dr. Conway

It is unclear to me how your wife would have gotten infected with HCV, but one of the most common ways is through exposure to infected blood. As this is also a common way to get HIV, it would be very important for her to be tested for HIV if she has not already done so.

As for the ITP, this simply means an immune-mediated destruction of the blood platelets that can be seen with HCV. The relationship may be that as the body's immune system tries to react against the HCV, it creates antibodies that destroy the platelets. it would be important to determine that this is, in fact, ITP. In severe HCV, the spleen sometimes gets big and platelets get stuck there, making the count in the blood very low. But this is quite different.

As for treatment of HCV, you will have to discuss this with the doctor, but there may be a good reason to start treatment if such a serious condition as ITP is present, and there is no other cause for it other than the HCV.

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