Race, rituximab, and relapse in TTP

Blood. 2022 Sep 22;140(12):1335-1344. doi: 10.1182/blood.2022016640.


Immune-mediated thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (iTTP) is characterized by recurring episodes of thrombotic microangiopathy, causing ischemic organ impairment. Black patients are overrepresented in iTTP cohorts in the United States, but racial disparities in iTTP outcome and response to therapy have not been studied. Using the United States Thrombotic Microangiopathies Consortium iTTP Registry, we evaluated the impact of race on mortality and relapse-free survival (RFS) in confirmed iTTP in the United States from 1995 to 2020. We separately examined the impact of rituximab therapy and presentation with newly diagnosed (de novo) or relapsed iTTP on RFS by race. A total of 645 participants with 1308 iTTP episodes were available for analysis. Acute iTTP mortality did not differ by race. When all episodes of iTTP were included, Black race was associated with shorter RFS (hazard ratio [HR], 1.60; 95% CI, 1.16-2.21); the addition of rituximab to corticosteroids improved RFS in White (HR, 0.37; 95% CI, 0.18-0.73) but not Black patients (HR, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.71-1.31). In de novo iTTP, rituximab delayed relapse, but Black patients had shorter RFS than White patients, regardless of treatment. In relapsed iTTP, rituximab significantly improved RFS in White but not Black patients. Race affects overall relapse risk and response to rituximab in iTTP. Black patients may require closer monitoring, earlier retreatment, and alternative immunosuppression after rituximab treatment. How race, racism, and social determinants of health contribute to the disparity in relapse risk in iTTP deserves further study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • ADAMTS13 Protein
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Humans
  • Purpura, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic* / therapy
  • Recurrence
  • Rituximab / therapeutic use
  • Thiamine


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • thiamine triphosphorate
  • Rituximab
  • ADAMTS13 Protein
  • Thiamine