Sunday, July 17, 2022

DD of purpura

Q: How the purpura of thrombocytopenia and purpura of vasculitis can be differentiated on physical exam?

Answer: Physical exam plays an integral role in differentiating purpura from thrombocytopenia and vasculitis.

Purpura secondary to thrombocytopenia 
  • flat 
  • non-blanching 
  • in dependent areas
Purpura secondary to vasculitis 
  • palpable 
  • pruritic
  • does not follow dependent areas


1. 1. KAWAKITA Y. [MEDICAL EXAMINATION AND TREATMENT OF PURPURA]. Nihon Ishikai Zasshi. 1964 Mar 1;51:781-809. Japanese. PMID: 14144733.

2. Stevens GL, Adelman HM, Wallach PM. Palpable purpura: an algorithmic approach. Am Fam Physician. 1995 Oct;52(5):1355-62. PMID: 7572558.

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