Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (patient information)

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Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
ICD-10 M31.1
ICD-9 446.6
DiseasesDB 13052
MedlinePlus 000552
MeSH D011697

Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura

Overview

What are the symptoms?

What are the causes?

Who is at highest risk?

Diagnosis

When to seek urgent medical care?

Treatment options

Where to find medical care for Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura?

Prevention

What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?

Possible complications

Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura On the Web

Ongoing Trials at Clinical Trials.gov

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Directions to Hospitals Treating Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura

Risk calculators and risk factors for Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura

Editor-in-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S.,M.D. [1] Phone:617-632-7753; Associate Editor-In-Chief: Lakshmi Gopalakrishnan, M.B.B.S.

Overview

Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a blood disorder that causes blood clots to form in small blood vessels around the body, and leads to a low platelet count (thrombocytopenia).

What are the symptoms of Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura?

What causes Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura?

  • This disease may be caused by a lack of, or problems with, a certain enzyme (a type of protein) that is involved in blood clotting. These changes cause clotting to occur in an abnormal way.
  • As the platelets clump together in these clots, fewer platelets are available in the blood in other parts of the body to help with clotting.
  • This can lead to bleeding under the skin and purple-colored spots called purpura.
  • In some cases, the disorder is passed down through families (inherited) and patients are born with naturally low levels of this enzyme. This condition also may be related to:

When to seek urgent medical care?

Call your health care provider if you have any unexplained bleeding.

Diagnosis

  • ADAMTS 13 activity level
  • Bilirubin
  • Complete blood count
  • Platelet count
  • Blood smear
  • Urinalysis
  • Creatinine level
  • Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level
  • Mucus membrane biopsy
  • Von Willebrand factor electropheresis

Treatment options

  • Plasma exchange (plasmapheresis plus infusion of donor plasma) is used to remove the antibodies that are affecting clotting from the blood and also replace the missing enzyme.
  • First, you will have your blood drawn as if you were donating blood.
  • The plasma portion of the blood will be passed through a cell separator. The remaining portion of the blood will be saved.
  • Plasma will be added to it, and the blood will be returned to you through a transfusion.
  • This treatment is repeated daily until blood tests show improvement.
  • People who do not respond to this treatment or whose condition often returns may need to:

Where to find medical care for Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura?

Directions to Hospitals Treating Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura

Prevention

Because the cause is unknown, there is no known way to prevent this condition.

What to expect (Outlook/Prognosis)?

Plasma exchange has greatly improved the outcome of this disease. Most patients now recover completely. However, some people die from this disease, especially if it is not found immediately. In people who don't recover, this condition can become long-term (chronic).

Possible complications

  • Kidney failure
  • Low platelet count (thrombocytopenia)
  • Low red blood cell count (caused by the premature breakdown of red blood cells)
  • Nervous system problems
  • Severe bleeding (hemorrhage)
  • Stroke

Source

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000552.htm


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