Viral-associated thrombotic microangiopathies

Hematol Oncol Stem Cell Ther. 2011;4(2):51-9. doi: 10.5144/1658-3876.2011.51.


Thrombotic microangiopathies encompass a group of disorders characterized by microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia associated with hyaline thrombi (comprised primarily of platelet aggregates in the microcirculation), and varying degrees of end-organ failure. Many primary (genetic) and secondary etiological predisposing factors have been described-namely pregnancy, autoimmune disorders, cancer, drugs and antineoplastic therapy, bone marrow transplantation/solid organ transplantation, and infections. In the setting of infectious diseases, the association with Shiga or Shiga-like exotoxin of Escherichia coli 0157:h7 or Shigella dysenteriae type 1-induced typical hemolytic uremic syndrome is well known. Recently however, an increasing body of evidence suggests that viruses may also play an important role as trigger factors in the pathogenesis of thrombotic microangiopathies. This is a comprehensive review focusing on the current understanding of viral associated/induced endothelial stimulation and damage that ultimately leads to the development of this life-threatening multisystemic disorder.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome
  • DNA Virus Infections / complications*
  • DNA Viruses / isolation & purification
  • Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome / etiology
  • Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome / virology
  • Humans
  • Purpura, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic / etiology
  • Purpura, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic / virology
  • RNA Virus Infections / complications*
  • RNA Viruses / isolation & purification
  • Thrombotic Microangiopathies / etiology*
  • Thrombotic Microangiopathies / virology