Cases reported "Immune System Diseases"

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1/2. Emergency surgery and refractory immune thrombocytopenic purpura. A case report.

    A 35-year-old woman with post-splenectomy refractory immune thrombocytopenia presented with an acute abdominal emergency requiring laparotomy. Her platelet count was raised from 10 to 96 X 10(9)/l using a combination of high-dose methylprednisolone, plasma exchange against fresh-frozen plasma, infusion of gammaglobulin and a single mega-unit of platelets. The surgical procedure was uneventful, and with no further therapy the platelet count rose to a peak of 244 X 10(9)/l, but over the following 7 days fell back slowly to 10 X 10(9)/l, at which time the patient was discharged well.
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2/2. Emergency caesarean section and symptomatic immune thrombocytopenic purpura.

    A 24-year-old woman presented in labour with profound purpuric bleeding due to idiopathic immune thrombocytopenia. She was assessed as requiring immediate caesarean section for cephalopelvic disproportion and foetal distress. In view of her platelet count of 21 x 10(9)/L she was prepared with intravenous methylprednisolone, isovolaemic plasma exchange, and infusion of 400 mg/kg of gammaglobulin and 5 x 10(11) allogeneic platelets. Six hours after commencing the procedure, at a time when her platelet count was 97 x 11(9)/L, she went uneventful operation and with no further therapy this level subsequently reached 175 x 10(9)/L, at which time an uneventful operation was performed. The mother and her normal, full-term infant have been discharged; both are well and at follow-up have normal platelet counts. This experience illustrates that major surgery can safely be undertaken in severely thrombocytopenic patients, even as an emergency procedure, using this regimen.
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