University of Missouri-Columbia School of Health Professions Link to MU Homepage link to MU Homepage School of Health Professions
Virtual Health Care Team
Case StudiesAbout VHCTContinuing EducationHealth ReferencesContact UsHome


Ihab Abumuhor, BS, MT (ASCP)

Ellen Hope Kearns, MS, SH(ASCP)H

Division of Health Sciences, School of Health, California State University Dominguez Hills, Carson, CA

Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

Types of TTP

Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura may occur at any age, but the median age at diagnosis is 35 years; it occurs more often in females than males. There are several types of TTP. The most common type is chronic relapsing TTP, which may be congenital, and usually manifests in childhood. Recurrences occur frequently and regularly at approximately three-week intervals. Chronic relapsing TTP can be prevented by the transfusion of fresh frozen plasma (FFP) or cryosupernatant that lacks the largest plasmatic vWF multimers about every 21 days. Acute idiopathic TTP is a more common form and usually manifests between adolescence and middle life. It is usually more severe than chronic relapsing TTP. The disease occurs at intermittent and unpredictable intervals. About two-thirds of the patients in whom the initial treatment is successful never experience the disease again (Table 5).

Table 5: Classification of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
A. Idiopathic B. Secondary
  1. Acute: usually fulminant and often fatal
  2. Chronic: rare; insidious onset, usually associated with other systemic diseases
  3. Relapsing: most common; attacks can be months to years apart
  4. Familial: rare; probably autosomal recessive; usually acute pattern
  1. Pregnancy
  2. Bacterial endocarditis
  3. Autoimmune: SLE, rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
  4. Neoplasm: lymphoma, adenocarcinoma
  5. Drug induced: ticlopidine, oral contraceptives, iodine, sulfonamides
  6. HIV associated

Published by the Virtual Health Care Team ®
School of Health Professions
University of Missouri-Columbia
Questions? Comments? Contact Us
Copyright © 2005-2012 — Curators of the University of Missouri
DMCA and other copyright information.
An equal opportunity/ADA institution.
All rights reserved. Disclaimer and Terms of Use
Last Update: September 11 2012