Disease at a Glance

Summary
Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), acquired is a blood disorder characterized by low platelets (i.e., thrombocytopenia), small areas of bleeding under the skin (i.e., purpura), low red blood cell count, and hemolytic anemia. TTP causes blood clots (thrombi) to form in small blood vessels throughout the body. These clots can cause medical problems if they block vessels and decrease or stop blood flow to organs such as the brain, kidneys, and heart. Complications may include neurological problems (such as personality changes, headaches, confusion, and slurred speech), fever, abnormal kidney function, abdominal pain, and heart problems. Hemolytic anemia can lead to paleness, yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice), fatigue, shortness of breath, and a rapid heart rate. Acquired TTP usually begins in adulthood, but can affect children. An episode of TTP usually occurs suddenly and lasts for days or weeks, but it may continue for months. Relapses (or flareups) can occur in up to 60 percent of people who have the acquired TTP. Acquired TTP is caused when a person's body mistakingly makes antibodies that block the activity of the ADAMTS13 enzyme. THe ADAMTS13 enzyme normally helps control the activity of certain blood clotting factors.
Estimated Number of People with this Disease

This section is currently in development.

What Information Does GARD Have For This Disease?

Many rare diseases have limited information. Currently GARD is able to provide the following information for this disease:

*Data may be currently unavailable to GARD at this time.
Categories
When do symptoms of this disease begin?
This section is currently in development. 

Symptoms

This section is currently in development. We recommend speaking with a doctor to learn more about this disease. 

Causes

This section is currently in development. 

Next Steps

Talking with the Medical Team

Good communication between the patient, family, and medical team can lead to an accurate diagnosis. In addition, health care decisions can be made together which improves the patient’s well-being and quality of life.

Describing Symptoms

Describe details about the symptoms. Because there may be many different causes for a single symptom, it is best not to make a conclusion about the diagnosis. The detailed descriptions help the medical provider determine the correct diagnosis.

To help describe a symptom:

  • Use a smartphone or a notebook to record each symptom before the appointment
  • Describe each symptom by answering the following questions:
    • When did the symptom start?
    • How often does it happen?
    • Does anything make it better or worse?
  • Tell the medical team whether any symptoms affect daily activities

Preparing for the First Visit

Working with a medical team to find a diagnosis can be a long process that will require more than one appointment. Make better health decisions by being prepared for the first visit with each member of the medical team.

    Make informed decisions about health care: 
    • Prepare a list of questions and concerns before the appointment
    • List the most important questions first, not all questions may be answered in the first visit
    • Ask questions about symptoms, possible diagnoses, tests, and treatment options
    For future appointments:
    • Discuss what was not addressed at the last visit
    • Discuss changes in the quality of life for the patient, family, and caregivers
    • Discuss health goals and other issues in the patient’s and family’s life that may affect the health care decisions
    Take notes during the appointments to help remember what was discussed.

    Last Updated: Nov. 8, 2021