Create Account | Sign In: Author or Forum

 
News  |  Journals  |  Conferences  |  Opinion  |  Articles  |  Forums  |  Twitter    
 
Category: Hematology

Back to Medical Reference

Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura overview

Published: July 16, 2009. Updated: August 09, 2009

 

Share |

Comments: (0)

Tell-a-Friend

 

  Related
 
Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura is a rare disease characterized by: low platelet count; microangiopathic haemolytic anaemia (breakdown of red blood cells through factors in the small blood vessels); fluctuating neurological symptoms, such as bizarre behaviour or headaches; renal function loss; and fever.

Causes

The disease is caused by spontaneous aggregation of platelets and activation of coagulation in the small blood vessels. Recently, the reason for this phenomenon has been identified to be the inhibition of an enzyme by the name of ADAMTS13 by antibodies; it is therefore an autoimmune disease. ADAMTS13 breaks down the so-called von Willebrand factor (vWF), a protein that links platelets, blood clots and the blood vessel wall in the process of blood coagulation. Very large vWF molecules are more prone to lead to coagulation.

A hereditary form of TTP is called the Shulman-Upshaw syndrome. Other rare causes are certain medications

Symptoms and signs

It is very hard to disentangle TTP from Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). Both have very similar clinical characteristics, although the renal symptoms tend to be more outspoken in HUS. HUS is often preceded by a case of bloody diarrhea caused by the E. coli O157:H7 bacterium.

Treatment

TTP is generally treated by repeated plasmapheresis, which is the removal of the patient's blood plasma and replacement with donor's plasma.

Prognosis

Prognosis is reasonable: 90% survive an attack of TTP.


Previous: Thalassemia Next: Von Willebrand disease

Reader comments on this article are listed below. Review our comments policy.


Submit your opinion:

Name:

Email:

Location:

URL:

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)
 

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

 
     

 advertisement.gif (61x7 -- 0 bytes)

 

 

Useful Sites
MediLexicon
  Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us
Copyright © 2001-2014
Doctors Lounge.
All rights reserved.

Medical Reference:
Diseases | Symptoms
Drugs | Labs | Procedures
Software | Tutorials

Advertising
Links | Humor
Forum Archive
CME | Conferences

Privacy Statement
Terms & Conditions
Editorial Board
About us | Email

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.