Oral cyclic megadose methylprednisolone therapy for chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura in childhood
Abstract: The objectives of this study were to investigate the effectiveness of oral megadose methylprednisolone (OMMP) therapy in children with chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). Twenty‐two patients were given oral methylprednisolone daily for 7 d (30 mg/kg for 3 d and then 20 mg/kg for 4 d). OMMP therapy was repeated once per month if the platelet count was less than 20,000/mm3 at the 30th day of therapy, for up to six courses. The number of platelets of all patients increased gradually during the OMMP therapy, with a peak number at the 7th day, then decreased until the 14th day, and remained relatively stable until 12 months. During the study no patient had a platelet count less than 20,000/mm3 at the 3rd day and 50,000/mm3 at the 7th day. Although the number of platelets was gradually decreased between the 7th and 14th days, it remained above 100,000/mm3 for at least 12 months in the nine patients, and above 20,000/mm3 in the four patients. None of these 13 patients required hospitalization or therapy during the follow‐up period. All of the patients tolerated the medication well. None of them reported side‐effects that were severe enough to discontinue therapy. We conclude that OMMP therapy is a safe, easy and effective therapy in children with refractory chronic ITP, and it may provide long‐term remission in about two thirds of the patients.
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