purpura (ITP) are controversial. We reviewed the files of 162 children with ITP to evaluate clinical characteristics, response to treatment and outcome. History of antecedent infection, vaccination and serologic evidence for acute viral infection were present in 48%, 5% and 17% of the patients, respectively. At diagnosis, two-thirds of the patients had a platelet count of < 10,000/mu 1 but only 10% had major bleedings. Intracranial hemorrhage was seen in two patients (1.2%) with a mortality rate of 0.6%. Sixteen percent developed chronic ITP. The rate of platelet recovery with mega-dose methylprednisolone (30 mg/kg/d for 3 and 20 mg/kg/d for 4 days) was similar to that obtained with intravenous immunoglobulin or oral prednisolone. Four of seven patients with ITP responded to splenectomy. These data show that mode of treatment has no effect on the clinical course and prognosis of childhood ITP.