Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.

Kremer Hovinga, Johanna Anna; Coppo, Paul; Lämmle, Bernhard; Moake, Joel L; Miyata, Toshiyuki; Vanhoorelbeke, Karen (2017). Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Nature reviews. Disease Primers, 3(17020), p. 17020. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/nrdp.2017.20

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Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP; also known as Moschcowitz disease) is characterized by the concomitant occurrence of often severe thrombocytopenia, microangiopathic haemolytic anaemia and a variable degree of ischaemic organ damage, particularly affecting the brain, heart and kidneys. Acute TTP was almost universally fatal until the introduction of plasma therapy, which improved survival from <10% to 80-90%. However, patients who survive an acute episode are at high risk of relapse and of long-term morbidity. A timely diagnosis is vital but challenging, as TTP shares symptoms and clinical presentation with numerous conditions, including, for example, haemolytic uraemic syndrome and other thrombotic microangiopathies. The underlying pathophysiology is a severe deficiency of the activity of a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs 13 (ADAMTS13), the protease that cleaves von Willebrand factor (vWF) multimeric strings. Ultra-large vWF strings remain uncleaved after endothelial cell secretion and anchorage, bind to platelets and form microthrombi, leading to the clinical manifestations of TTP. Congenital TTP (Upshaw-Schulman syndrome) is the result of homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations in ADAMTS13, whereas acquired TTP is an autoimmune disorder caused by circulating anti-ADAMTS13 autoantibodies, which inhibit the enzyme or increase its clearance. Consequently, immunosuppressive drugs, such as corticosteroids and often rituximab, supplement plasma exchange therapy in patients with acquired TTP.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Clinic of Haematology and Central Haematological Laboratory
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > Unit Childrens Hospital > Forschungsgruppe Hämatologie (Erwachsene)

UniBE Contributor:

Kremer Hovinga, Johanna Anna


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Nature Publishing Group




Katrin Kölliker-Schütz

Date Deposited:

04 Dec 2017 16:46

Last Modified:

14 Oct 2020 21:49

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PubMed ID:



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