MedSchool: Ace Your OSCEsThe Medical Company
GET - On the App Store


August 13th, 2017


Purpura, or bruising, may develop in the context of trauma, coagulopathy, platelet deficiency / dysfunction, or vascular disorders.
  • Look For

  • Red / purple lesions that do not blanch with pressure. May be present over the head, arms, legs, chest or abdomen.
  • Interpretation

  • Petechiae - flat lesions, <4mmThrombocytopaenia / abnormal platelet function, DIC
  • Ecchymoses - flat lesions, >4mmTrauma, DIC, coagulation disorders, senile purpura
  • Palpable purpura associated with arthralgia, abdominal pain and renal diseaseHenoch-Schönlein purpura
  • Causes of Purpura

  • Trauma

  • Platelet Disorders

  • Idiopathic thrombocytopaenic purpura (ITP)
  • Thrombotic thrombocytopaenic purpura (TTP)
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)
  • Bone marrow failure - aplastic anaemia, leukaemia, chemotherapy
  • Platelet sequestration - splenomegaly, haemangioma
  • Haemolytic-uraemic syndrome
  • Disorders of Coagulation

  • Factor deficiencies - haemophilia, Von Willebrand disease
  • Vitamin K deficiency - malabsorption, poor diet
  • Anticoagulants
  • Vascular Disorders

  • Connective tissue diseases - Ehlers-Danlos, scurvy
  • Infection - mengingococcal, streptococcal, viral
  • Henoch-Schönlein purpura
  • Senile purpura
  • Steroids
Want more info like this?
  • Your electronic clinical medicine handbook
  • Guides to help pass your exams
  • Tools every medical student needs
  • Quick diagrams to have the answers, fast
  • Quizzes to test your knowledge
Sign Up Now

Snapshot: Initialising...