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What is primary thrombocytopenia? Treatment, causes, and more – Medical News Today

Primary thrombocytopenia is an autoimmune disorder that causes a low number of platelets in the blood. Other names for it are immune thrombocytopenia and ITP.

Platelets are specialized blood cells that help stop bleeding by accelerating clotting. When a person has a low number of platelets, they may have extensive bleeding, including internal bleeding, after an injury.

Primary thrombocytopenia varies in severity, and in many cases, doctors can treat it.

In this article, we compare primary and secondary thrombocytopenia and describe the symptoms, causes, treatments, and outlook for people with this disorder.

Primary thrombocytopenia is an autoimmune disorder that causes low levels of platelets in the blood. Platelets support blood vessel walls and help with clotting.

A healthy number of platelets is 150,000–400,000 per microliter of blood. If a person has fewer than 100,000 platelets per microliter of blood, with no other known cause, they may have primary thrombocytopenia.

People with thrombocytopenia may have purple or red spots or patches of skin due to bleeding just below the skin’s surface. Smaller spots from this type of bleeding are called purpura, and larger patches are bruises, also called ecchymoses.

People with thrombocytopenia may also experience extreme bleeding, such as a heavy nose bleed. And menstrual bleeding may be unusually heavy. In severe cases, gastrointestinal bleeding may lead to blood in stool and urine.

“Primary” thrombocytopenia refers to the body’s immune cells destroying platelets for no clear reason. Experts do not understand why this occurs.

Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell in the bone marrow, spleen, and other areas of the body. They become stimulated to produce antibodies, which attach to platelets.

The immune system then attacks the platelets because it mistakenly recognizes them as foreign. This leaves fewer platelets, making it more difficult for blood to clot, which can lead to excessive bleeding.

If a person has thrombocytopenia as a result of another disorder, it is “secondary“.

This means that the immune system is attacking platelets because it is trying to fight off another condition. This may be an autoimmune disorder such as systemic lupus erythematosus or a blood disorder such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

The symptoms of thrombocytopenia vary from person to person.

Some people have a higher tolerance for low platelet levels, and they may not bruise or bleed as extensively. A person may have no symptoms or only have symptoms when their platelet count is very low.

The symptoms may include:

  • bleeding from the gums
  • frequent nose bleeds that last and are hard to stop
  • spontaneous or easy bruising
  • a rash of small red dots, which indicate bleeding caused by broken or leaking blood vessels
  • prolonged, heavy menstrual bleeding
  • blood blisters on the insides of the cheeks
  • extreme fatigue, low mental and physical energy, and depression
  • signs of internal bleeding, such as blood in the urine, stool, or vomit, although this is less common
  • rarely, bleeding in the brain, which is called intracranial hemorrhage

Thrombocytopenia occurs when the immune system attacks healthy platelets because it has incorrectly identified them as harmful foreign substances called antigens.

In a healthy body, the immune system produces antibodies in response to antigens, which may be bacterial or viral.

If a person has thrombocytopenia, blood cells called lymphocytes produce antibodies that attach to the surfaces of platelets. The immune system recognizes these platelets as a threat, and cells called tissue macrophages ingest and destroy the antibody-coated platelets.

The antibodies may also bond to large bone marrow cells called megakaryocytes. This can result in the bone marrow producing fewer platelets.

Experts are still unsure why the immune system responds as it does in a person with thrombocytopenia.

In children, thrombocytopenia sometimes follows an acute viral infection, such as chickenpox. In these cases, antibodies created to fight the infection may mistakenly lead to the attack on platelets.

The disorder does not appear to be hereditary, as it is quite rare for more than one family member in more than one generation to have thrombocytopenia.

For thrombocytopenia, a doctor may recommend:

  • Corticosteroids: These are the most effective, first-line treatment. Options such as methylprednisolone, prednisone, or dexamethasone work by suppressing the clearance of antibody-covered platelets and may increase the production of platelets.
  • Platelet transfusion: If treatment with corticosteroids is not successful, a doctor may recommend immunoglobulin infusion therapy, based on the person’s platelet count and bleeding. This is generally reserved for emergency situations, as the body is likely to destroy the transfused platelets quickly.
  • Thrombopoietin receptor agonists: These drugs work by stimulating the production of platelets to overcome the rate at which the immune system is destroying them. Examples include avatrombopag (Doptelet), eltrombopag (Promacta), and romiplostim (Nplate).
  • Surgery: A doctor may recommend the removal of the spleen if drug-based approaches do not work.

People with thrombocytopenia have an increased risk of severe internal or external bleeding, which can be life threatening. However, most people with the disorder have mild to moderate symptoms.

The outlook for children with thrombocytopenia is especially good, with 80% experiencing spontaneous remission.

The rate of mortality is higher in older adults for whom treatment has been ineffective.

Primary thrombocytopenia is an autoimmune disorder, that causes the immune system to attack platelets in blood. This leads to low numbers of platelets and a decreased capacity to produce new ones.

This can lead to excessive bleeding, including menstrual bleeding, and bruising.

Experts do not know what causes the immune system to attack healthy platelets in a person with primary thrombocytopenia.

The treatment usually involves corticosteroids, but there are also other drug-based and surgical options. In emergency situations, a transfusion may be necessary.

The outlook for someone with this disorder depends on its severity.

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Can coffee protect against endometrial cancer? Here is what new study says – Times of India

Coffee gives your body an instant dose of caffeine and fills it up with energy. This is the reason why many people opt for it in the morning to fuel up a sluggish day, while many people need their cup of coffee at night to stay awake for studies or night shift.

Black coffee, which is made without using milk or sugar contains zero calories is often consumed as a pre-workout drink and is said to aid weight loss.

The long list of coffee benefits includes a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, reduced risk of stroke and even a decreased risk of Parkinson’s disease by 25%.

With inputs from ANI

For scrumptious recipes, videos and exciting food news, subscribe to our free Daily and Weekly Newsletters.

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Watch: Powerful Solar Flare Captured By NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory – India Times

After NASA’s Parker Probe reached extremely close to the Sun’s corona, the space agency has captured the visuals of a “significant” solar flare. Captured at 11:31 am IST on Friday, the mid-level solar flare was captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory that keeps a close watch on the Sun.

Solar flare

Solar flares are bursts of energy

Powerful bursts of energy, solar flares are emitted by the Sun and can affect Earth. Solar flares have the capability to impact radio communications, electric power grids, navigation signals, and also pose risks to spacecraft and astronauts according to NASA.

 NASA has classified it as a M5.5 class solar flare. Based on its intensity, solar flares can last for mere minutes or for hours. According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, solar flares travel at the speed of light – implying that its effects on the Sun-facing side of Earth’s atmosphere are felt as soon as it bursts out.

Also read: ‘King Of Storms’ In Our Solar System Can Destroy Three Earth-Sized Planets

However, the radiation poses no direct harm to humans on the Earth’s surface. The powerful flares are made out of radio waves, x-rays, and gamma rays. The explosion happens after massive amounts of solar energy stored in the Sun’s magnetic field is suddenly released.

Solar flare

In December, we received a glimpse of what Sun’s surrounding region looks like after NASA’s Parker Probe brushed past the star. The probe was launched in August 2019 and has spent over 990 days travelling through the solar system since then – observing space around Venus and the Sun.

It reached the Sun’s corona last year – where temperatures are as high as million Celsius.

Also read: NASA Parker Space Probe ‘Touched The Sun’, First-Ever Human Object To Do So

What did you think about this stunning visual of a solar flare? Let us know in the comments below. For more in the world of technology and science, keep reading


Solar Flares (Radio Blackouts) | NOAA / NWS Space Weather Prediction Center. (2022). NOAA. 

Hatfield, A. M. (2022, January 20). Mid-Level Flare Erupts From Sun – Solar Cycle 25. NASA. 

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NASA Mars Perseverance Rover: Ejecting Martian Pebbles – SciTechDaily

Before and After Perseverance Sample Tube Shake

Before and After Perseverance Sample Tube Shake: An animated GIF depicts the Martian surface below the Perseverance rover, showing the results of the January 15, 2022, percussive drill test to clear cored-rock fragments from one of the rover’s sample tubes. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The team has made good progress implementing the initial recovery steps outlined last week. Our first success: The upper two pebbles were ejected from the bit carousel during a test. This is great news, as these small chunks of debris are believed to be the cause of the unsuccessful transfer of the drill bit and sample tube into the carousel back on December 29. Our second success: We appear to have removed most – if not all – of the cored rock that remained in Sample Tube 261.

Here is the latest…

Pebbles in Bit Carousel

On Monday, January 17, the WATSON camera imaged the bit carousel and its pebbles – and also took images underneath the rover to establish just what was down there before any recovery strategies were applied. Later that same Martian day, we rotated the bit carousel about 75 degrees before returning it back to its original position. WATSON imaging showed the two upper pebbles were ejected during the process. Tuesday night we also received the second set of under-rover images, which show two new pebbles on the surface, indicating the ejected pebbles made it fully through bit carousel and back onto the surface of <span aria-describedby="tt" class="glossaryLink" data-cmtooltip="

Mars is the second smallest planet in our solar system and the fourth planet from the sun. Iron oxide is prevalent in Mars’ surface resulting in its reddish color and its nickname "The Red Planet." Mars’ name comes from the Roman god of war.

“>Mars as planned.

Rotating Perseverance's Bit Carousel

Rotating Perseverance’s Bit Carousel: An annotated GIF depicts a rotational test of Perseverance’s bit carousel in which two of four rock fragments were ejected. The five images that make up the GIF were obtained by the rover’s WATSON imager on January 17, 2022. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

The other two pebbles, located below the bit carousel, remain. It is interesting to note that some of the initial trials performed on our testbed here on Earth indicate that the location of the two leftover pebbles may not pose a significant problem with bit carousel operation, but we are continuing analysis and testing to confirm this.

Remaining Sample in Tube

On Saturday, January 15, the team performed an experiment using Perseverance’s rotary-percussive drill. After the robotic arm oriented the drill with Sample Tube 261’s open end angled around 9 degrees below horizontal, the rover’s drill spindle rotated and then extended. Our remarkable Mastcam-Z instrument (which has video capability previously used to document some of Ingenuity’s flights) captured the event. The imagery from the experiment shows a small amount of sample material falling out of the drill bit/sample tube. Later that same Martian day, the bit was positioned vertically over “Issole” (the rock that provided this latest core) to see if additional sample would fall out under the force of gravity. However, Mastcam-Z imaging of 261’s interior after this subsequent maneuver showed it still contained some sample.

Perseverance Expels Rock Fragments

Perseverance Expels Rock Fragments: A portion of a cored-rock sample is ejected from the rotary percussive drill on NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover. The imagery was collected by the rover’s Mastcam-Z instrument on January 15, 2022. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

Given that some of the sample had already been lost, the team decided it was time to return the rest of the sample to Mars and hopefully completely empty the tube to ready it for potentially another sampling attempt. On Monday, January 17, the team commanded another operation of the rotary percussive drill in an attempt to dislodge more material from the tube. With the tube’s open end still pointed towards the surface, we essentially shook the heck out of it for 208 seconds – by means of the percussive function on the drill. Mastcam-Z imagery taken after the event shows that multiple pieces of sample were dumped onto the surface. Is Tube 261 clear of rock sample? We have new Mastcam-Z images looking down the drill bit into the sample container that indicate little if any debris from the cored-rock sample remains. The sample tube has been cleared for reuse by the project.

Perseverance's Sample Tube Looks Clean

Perseverance’s Sample Tube Looks Clean: This image, taken by the Mastcam-Z camera aboard NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover on January 20, 2022, shows the rover successfully expelled the remaining large fragments of cored rock from a sample tube held in its drill. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

Future Moves

The team is still reviewing the data and discussing next steps. Like all Mars missions, we’ve had some unexpected challenges. Each time, the team and our rover have risen to the occasion. We expect the same result this time – by taking incremental steps, analyzing results, and then moving on, we plan to fully resolve this challenge and get back to exploration and sampling at Jezero Crater.

Written by Rick Welch, Deputy Project Manager at <span aria-describedby="tt" class="glossaryLink" data-cmtooltip="

Established in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government that succeeded the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). It is responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. It’s vision is "To discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity."

“>NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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