AbstractBACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: A recent evaluation carried out by the Associazione Italiana di Ematologia e Oncologia Pediatrica (AIEOP) about practice management of acute childhood idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) revealed a remarkable difference of behaviors among the different AIEOP centers. A need for common practice guidelines for this frequent illness arose from this observation. Our aim was to make the diagnosis and treatment of childhood ITP uniform. In the future we will evaluate the influence of these guidelines on practice behaviors. DATA SOURCES AND METHODS: Our main reference was the 1996 document produced by the American Society of Hematology (ASH). Their recommendations were updated with information from literature searched for in the MEDLINE database (June 1996-October 1998); search terms included: thrombocytopenia, ITP, diagnosis, therapy, children. The computerized search retrieved 83 articles. Data extraction: the scientific validity of the literature was evaluated by a panel of members using published guidelines. The strength of the evidence was assessed using level of evidence criteria. Only data from level I and level II studies were taken in account. Only one study out of the 83 retrieved articles met these selection criteria and it was considered in addition to the 11 out of 581 articles selected in the ASH ITP guidelines. This preliminary work pointed out each issue about ITP not addressed by clinical studies and all participants in a Consensus Conference expressed their opinion about these issues. RESULTS: Diagnosis is essentially based on history, physical examination, a complete blood count and an examination of the peripheral blood smear. Treatment is recommended taking into account the clinical picture and number of platelets. The main difference between these guidelines and those from ASH are: AIEOP guidelines rely on the opinion of the members of the consensus conference, ASH ones on a panel of experts; therapeutic options include only products available in Italy; the indications to treatment rely more on clinical picture than on platelet number. INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS: These are explicitly developed, evidence-based practice guidelines to assist Italian pediatricians in making decisions about diagnosis and appropriate health care for patients with acute childhood ITP.
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Vol. 85 No. 4 (2000): April, 2000 : Consensus Development Conference
Ferrata Storti Foundation, Pavia, Italy
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