Home > Health A – Z > Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP)

Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a rare blood disorder. In TTP, blood clots form in small blood vessels throughout the body.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP)

Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a rare blood disorder. In TTP, blood clots form in small blood vessels throughout the body.

The clots can limit or block the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the body's organs, such as the brain, kidneys, and heart. As a result, serious health problems can develop.

The increased clotting that occurs in TTP also uses up platelets (PLATE-lets) in the blood. Platelets are blood cell fragments that help form blood clots. These cell fragments stick together to seal small cuts and breaks on blood vessel walls and stop bleeding.

With fewer platelets available in the blood, bleeding problems can occur. People who have TTP may bleed inside their bodies, underneath the skin, or from the surface of the skin. When cut or injured, they also may bleed longer than normal.

"Thrombotic" (throm-BOT-ik) refers to the blood clots that form. "Thrombocytopenic" (throm-bo-cy-toe-PEE-nick)... Read more about Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Interventions for haemolytic uraemic syndrome and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura

This review also showed that in patients with typical or diarrhoea associated haemolytic uraemic syndrome, there are no interventions that are superior to supportive therapy which includes control of fluid and electrolyte imbalance, use of dialysis if required, control of hypertension and blood transfusion as required.

A systematic review of randomized controlled trials for plasma exchange in the treatment of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura

This review concluded that plasma exchange is more effective than plasma infusion in the treatment of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, but it is unclear which replacement fluid for plasma exchange is best. There are limitations with the included studies, but the authors take these into account in their synthesis and the conclusions are likely to be reliable.

Drug Class Review: Newer Antiplatelet Agents: Final Update 2 Report [Internet]

We compared the effectiveness and harms of clopidogrel, ticlopidine, extended-release dipyridamole and aspirin and prasugrel in adults with acute coronary syndromes or coronary revascularization (stenting, bypass grafting), ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack, or symptomatic peripheral vascular disease.

See all (17)

Summaries for consumers

Interventions for haemolytic uraemic syndrome and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura

This review also showed that in patients with typical or diarrhoea associated haemolytic uraemic syndrome, there are no interventions that are superior to supportive therapy which includes control of fluid and electrolyte imbalance, use of dialysis if required, control of hypertension and blood transfusion as required.

Ticlopidine plus aspirin is better than oral anticoagulants alone for reducing the risk of revascularization, non‐fatal myocardial infarction and bleeding following stenting of coronary arteries

Stents are placed in arteries around the heart (coronary arteries) to keep formerly blocked arteries open. A blood clot (thrombus) may form in the coronary artery after stenting and cause acute myocardial infarction (fatal or non‐fatal) or more surgery. Blood thinners must be given for a short time to prevent clotting. Ticlopidine plus aspirin reduce the risk of complications after coronary stenting with less bleeding when compared to standard treatment (oral anticoagulants). Ticlopidine plus aspirin have other side effects such as bone marrow toxicity. Strict monitoring of blood‐cell counts is recommended during treatment.

Terms to know

Blood
A tissue with red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and other substances suspended in fluid called plasma. Blood takes oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, and carries away wastes.
Petechiae
Pinpoint, unraised, round red spots under the skin caused by bleeding.
Platelets (Thrombocytes)
A tiny piece of cell that is made by breaking off of a large cell in the bone marrow. Platelets are found in the blood and spleen. They help form blood clots to slow or stop bleeding, and to help wounds heal. Also called thrombocyte.
Purpura
Purpura is the appearance of red or purple discolorations on the skin that do not blanch on applying pressure. They are caused by bleeding underneath the skin.
Skin
The outer covering of the body that protects it from the environment.
Thrombus
A blood clot that forms on the wall of a blood vessel or in the heart when blood platelets, proteins, and cells stick together. A thrombus may block the flow of blood.

More about Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura

Photo of an adult

Also called: Moschcowitz syndrome, Moschowitz's syndrome, Thrombotic-thrombocytopenic purpura, TTP syndrome

Other terms to know: See all 6
Blood, Petechiae, Platelets (Thrombocytes)

Keep up with systematic reviews on Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura:

Create RSS

PubMed Health Blog...

read all...