Background: Mean platelet volume (MPV) is considered a marker of platelet function and is known to increase in immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). We aimed to investigate the predictive value of MPV for predicting the clinical course of ITP in children.
Methods: We retrospectively analyzed children aged < 18 years with ITP (n = 36) and healthy controls (n = 36) from June 2010 to November 2018. The subjects were stratified into: (i) Healthy controls [group I, n = 36]; (ii) Newly diagnosed ITP (nITP) and persistent ITP (pITP) [group II, n = 24]; and (iii) Chronic ITP (cITP) [group III, n = 12]. Hematological indices including MPV were measured and compared between the three groups.
Results: The median MPV values at diagnosis in group I, II, and III were 7.20, 8.15, and 8.65 fL, respectively (p = 0.0004). Cutoff value of MPV at diagnosis differentiating group I from group II + III was 7.6 fL, and group II from group III was 8.7 fL. MPV change (ΔMPV after three months minus MPV at diagnosis) in children with nITP and pITP (n = 22) was greater than in those with cITP (n = 6) (-2.18 fL vs. 0.66 fL, p = 0.0059).
Conclusions: This study revealed that group III had a higher MPV than group II at diagnosis. Therefore, an initial MPV value more than 8.7 fL may be used as a predictive factor for chronicity in children with ITP. The change in MPV over time as well as MPV at diagnosis, may be regarded as a prognostic marker to predict the course of ITP in children.