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ITP Glossary

Antibodies
Antibodies are a type of protein. The body’s immune system produces antibodies when it detects harmful substances, called antigens. Examples of antigens include microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses) and chemicals.1

Autoimmune diseases
Diseases where the body's immune system attacks healthy cells in the body.1

Immune thrombocytopenia
An illness characterized by very low platelet counts and an increasing risk of bleeding depending on the platelet counts. 3

Megakaryocytes
Platelet precursors.1

Menorrhagia
Abnormally profuse menstrual flow.4

Petechiae
Minute hemorrhagic spots, of pinpoint to pinhead size, in the skin, which are not blanched by pressure.2

Platelets
Minute colorless disklike bodies of blood found in the blood that assist in blood clotting by adhering to other platelets and to damaged epithelium.3

Platelet Count
A test to measure how many blood cells, called platelets, you have in your blood. Platelets help the blood clot.1

Purpura
Colored spots and patches that occur on the skin, on organs, and in mucous membranes, including the lining of the mouth.1

Remission
Resolving or lessening in severity of the symptoms of a disease.2

Spleen
An organ between the stomach and diaphragm. It is a blood-forming organ in early life and later a storage organ for red blood cells and platelets. It also acts as a blood filter. This organ also helps the body fight certain infections.1

Splenectomy
Removal by surgery of a diseased or damaged spleen.

Thrombopoietin
A hormone that regulates blood platelet production by inducing bone marrow cells to form platelets.1,5

References:

  1. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia Web site. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/encyclopedia.html. Accessed March 27, 2009.
  2. MedlinePlus Medical Dictionary Web site. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/mplusdictionary.html. Accessed August 14, 2013.
  3. Rodeghiero F, Stasi R, Gernsheimer T, et al. Standardization of terminology, definitions and outcome criteria in immune thrombocytopenic purpura of adults and children: report from an international working group. Blood. 2009;113: 2386-2393.
  4. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary. Accessed March 27, 2009.
  5. Dictionary.com. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/thrombopoietin. Accessed November 7, 2013.