Various haematological abnormalities commonly occur in active tuberculosis (TB). However, thrombocytopenia is rare and immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is mentioned only in few case reports. We found that of 846 cases with active TB, 9 (1%) presented with ITP as the only abnormality. Three out of these 9 cases had disseminated miliary TB, 3 an abdominal abscess or lymphadenitis, and 3 pulmonary TB; none had palpable splenomegaly. All patients had purpura and the platelet count varied between 4 and 21×109/l, and the bone marrow showed increased megakaryocytes. All tuberculous patients showed initially a poor platelet count response to steroid therapy. The platelet count returned to normal 2-6 weeks after oral prednisone combined with antituberculous drugs.

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