Thrombotic thrombocytopenic Purpura

30th July 2012 by Louise Hudman

This guideline is generally aimed at specialists and there’s nothing new for us. However, if you want a quick reminder of this rare, but extremely dangerous condition, read on! Skip the first paragraph to avoid the sciency bits…

The Science…

Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP) can be acquired or congenital. In the congenital form they lack a particular protein (ADAMTS13 if you really want to know). In the acquired form, they produce antibodies to the protein. This protein normally cleaves Von Willebrand factor to allow it to work. When Von Willebrand Factor isn’t cleaved, it causes platelets to aggregate abnormally in the small vessels, hence causing the thrombosis. Because they’ve all aggregrated, you end up with an overall lack of them.

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