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Clinical manifestations and evaluation of thrombocytopenia in children

Donald L Yee, MD
Section Editors
Donald H Mahoney, Jr, MD
Lawrence LK Leung, MD
Deputy Editor
Carrie Armsby, MD, MPH


Thrombocytopenia, defined as a platelet count <150,000/microL, is clinically suspected when a child develops characteristic clinical symptoms, which include a petechial rash, easy bruising or bleeding, or mucosal hemorrhage. Thrombocytopenia is often asymptomatic and may present as an incidental finding during routine evaluation or during laboratory investigations performed for other reasons. A common cause of thrombocytopenia in children is immune thrombocytopenia (ITP, previously known as idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura), for which the consensus definition is more restrictive, requiring a platelet count <100,000/microL [1].

The clinical manifestations and evaluation of thrombocytopenia in children will be reviewed here. Topic reviews with information relevant to the child with thrombocytopenia include the following:

(See "Causes of thrombocytopenia in children".)

(See "Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) in children: Clinical features and diagnosis".)

(See "Overview of the presentation and diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children and adolescents".)


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Jul 10, 2015.
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