ISSN : 2146-3123
E-ISSN : 2146-3131

Seasonal Association of Immune Thrombocytopenia in Adults
Anıl Tombak 1, Naci Tiftik 1, Burcu Boztepe 2, Melda Cömert 3, Güray Saydam 3, Ozan Salim 4, Emel Gürkan 4, Kaniye Aydın 5, Emel Gürkan 6, Mehmet Ali Sungur 7
1Department of Hematology, Mersin University Faculty of Medicine, Mersin, Turkey
2Department of Internal Medicine, Mersin University Faculty of Medicine, Mersin, Turkey
3Department of Hematology, Ege University Faculty of Medicine, İzmir, Turkey
4Department of Hematology, Akdeniz University Faculty of Medicine, Antalya, Turkey
5Department of Internal Medicine, Çukurova University Faculty of Medicine, Adana, Turkey
6Department of Hematology, Çukurova University Faculty of Medicine, Adana, Turkey
7Department of Biostatistics, Düzce University Faculty of Medicine, Düzce, Turkey
DOI : 10.5152/balkanmedj.2015.151223
Pages : 347-351


Background: Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is an autoimmune disorder. It is characterized by thrombocytopenia due to thrombocyte destruction mediated by autoantibodies; however, cytotoxic and defective regulatory T-lymphocytes play an important role in its pathogenesis. While childhood ITP is usually acute, self-limiting and generally seasonal in nature, ITP in adults is usually chronic; its relation with seasons has not been studied.

Aims: We investigated whether months and/or seasons have triggering roles in adults with ITP.

Study Design: Descriptive study.

Methods: A retrospective case review of adult patients with primary ITP diagnosed at various University Hospitals in cities where Mediterranean climate is seen was performed. Demographic data, date of referral and treatments were recorded. Corticosteroid-resistant, chronic and refractory cases were determined. Relation between sex, corticosteroid-resistant, chronic and refractory ITP with the seasons was also investigated.

Results: The study included 165 patients (124 female, mean age=42.8±16.6). Most cases of primary ITP were diagnosed in the spring (p=0.015). Rates of patients diagnosed according to the seasons were as follows: 35.8% in spring, 23% in summer, 20.6% in fall, and 20.6% in winter. With respect to months, the majority of cases occurred in May (18.2%). Time of diagnosis according to the seasons did not differ between genders (p=0.699). First-line treatment was corticosteroids in 97.3%, but 35% of the cases were corticosteroid-resistant. Steroid-resistant patients were mostly diagnosed in the spring (52.1%) (p=0.001). ITP was chronic in 52.7% of the patients and they were also diagnosed mostly in the spring (62.7%) (p=0.149).

Conclusion: This is the first study showing seasonal association of ITP in adults and we have observed that ITP in adults is mostly diagnosed in the spring. The reason why more patients are diagnosed in the spring may be due to the existence of atmospheric pollens reaching maximum levels in the spring in places where a Mediterranean climate is seen.

Keywords : Allergens, immune thrombocytopenia, pollen, seasons

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