Cyclic thrombocytopenia (CTP) is a rare disease, which is characterized by periodic fluctuation of the platelet count. The pathogenesis of CTP is unknown and most likely heterogeneous. Patients with CTP are almost always misdiagnosed as having primary immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). The interval between ITP and CTP diagnosis can be many years. CTP patients often receive ITP-specific therapies including corticosteroids, thrombopoietin receptor agonists, rituximab and splenectomy which are followed by a transient increase in platelet count that is wrongly attributed to treatment effect with inevitable "relapse". CTP can be diagnosed by frequent platelet count monitoring which reveals a typical pattern of periodic platelet cycling. An early diagnosis of CTP will prevent these patients from being exposed to possibly harmful therapies. The bleeding phenotype is usually mild and consists of mucocutaneous bleeding at the time when the platelet count is at its nadir. Severe bleeding from other sites can occur but is rare. Some patients respond to cyclosporine A or to danazol, but most patients do not respond to any therapy. CTP can be associated with hematological malignancies or disorders of the thyroid gland. Nevertheless, spontaneous remissions can occur, even after many years.

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