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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 51-56

Thyrotoxicosis and thrombocytopenia- An uncommon association

ACEER, Geo Towers, 3rd Floor, Chennai-35, India

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U Sriram
ACEER, Geo Towers, 3rd Floor, Chennai-35
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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The association between Graves' disease and thrombocytopenia is rare and the mechanisms involved are protean. Though a common autoimmune basis can be hypothesized to explain both the conditions, the failure of the platelet count to recover until the toxicosis is controlled suggests alternative explanations. We report a case of a 50- year- old female who was diagnosed to have chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) and was started on steroids. When the platelet count was normalizing, she developed Graves ' thyrotoxicosis and her platelet count plummeted down despite an increase in steroid dosage. Once her thyrotoxic status improved after radio-iodine ablation her platelet counts rose significantly to near normal levels. This case exemplifies the possible non-immune mechanisms involved in the causation of thrombocytopenia during thyrotoxicosis and the need for testing thyroid functions in cases of autoimmune diseases like ITP especially when response to conventional treatment is poor.

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