Drugs & Aging

, Volume 20, Issue 11, pp 841–846 | Cite as

Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

A Retrospective Analysis in 139 Patients of the Influence of Age on the Response to Corticosteroids, Splenectomy and Danazol
  • Emmanuel Andrès
  • Jacques Zimmer
  • Esther Noel
  • Georges Kaltenbach
  • Argyro Koumarianou
  • Frédéric Maloisel
Original Research Article



To review the influence of age on the response of patients with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) to corticosteroids, splenectomy and danazol.


We retrospectively reviewed a cohort of 139 consecutively treated patients with ITP diagnosed between 1985 and 1994. In particular, we analysed the therapies used, their response rates, prognostic indicators of response and adverse effects. Furthermore, we compared the efficacy and tolerability of the various therapies between younger and older patients (<60 and ≥60 years old).


Corticosteroids were used as first-line treatment in 118 patients with an initial response rate of 83%. Age did not affect the outcome of corticosteroid therapy, but all the patients aged ≥60 years reported adverse effects. A splenectomy was performed in 55 patients with an initial response rate of 87%. Older patients had significantly poorer outcomes from splenectomy with higher postoperative morbidity. Finally, danazol was given in 33 patients with a favourable response in 72% of cases. Compared with younger patients, older patients had a significantly better outcome with danazol.


Age may have significant effects on the response to and adverse effects of therapy in ITP, and this should be considered when choosing the treatment modality for the elderly.


Corticosteroid Therapy Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura Danazol Initial Response Rate Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura Patient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Conception and design: E. Andrès and F. Maloisel. Collection and assembly of data: J. Zimmer and F. Maloisel. Statistical analysis: J. Zimmer and F. Maloisel. Analysis and interpretation: E. Andrès, J. Zimmer and F. Maloisel. Drafting of the article: E. Andrès and F. Maloisel. Final approval of the manuscript: E. Andrès, J. Zimmer, E. Noel, G. Kaltenbach, A. Koumarianou and F. Maloisel. Provision of study materials or patients: E. Andrès, J. Zimmer, G. Kaltenbach, A. Koumarianou, F. Maloisel and the study group of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura of the Hôpitaux Universitaires de Strasbourg, France. The authors have provided no information on sources of funding or on conflicts of interest directly relevant to the content of this study.


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Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emmanuel Andrès
    • 1
  • Jacques Zimmer
    • 2
    • 3
  • Esther Noel
    • 1
  • Georges Kaltenbach
    • 4
  • Argyro Koumarianou
    • 2
  • Frédéric Maloisel
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineHôpitaux Universitaires de StrasbourgStrasbourgFrance
  2. 2.Department of Onco-HematologyHôpitaux Universitaires de StrasbourgStrasbourgFrance
  3. 3.Lausanne BranchLudwig Institute for Cancer ResearchEpalingesSwitzerland
  4. 4.Department of Internal Medicine and GeriatricsHôpitaux Universitaires de StrasbourgStrasbourgFrance

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