Treatment outcomes in patients with adult thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura-hemolytic uremic syndrome

Arch Intern Med. 1994 May 9;154(9):982-7.


Background: Plasma treatment has improved the outcomes in adults with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP)-hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). We reviewed our experience in treating unselected patients to determine the clinical outcomes and to evaluate the treatments given in addition to plasma.

Methods: A chart review of all cases of TTP and HUS in adults treated at the Toronto (Ontario) Hospital, the largest treatment center for adults with TTP-HUS in the province of Ontario, was conducted.

Results: Sixty-seven episodes of TTP-HUS in 52 consecutive adult patients were treated during a 12-year period. Plasma was the primary form of therapy, and most patients received plasma exchange. A complete hematologic remission was achieved in 65 of 67 episodes; however, two patients in remission were brain-dead. The time to complete remission varied from 3 to 58 days (median, 13 days). The death rate during the acute illness was 8%. Long-term sequelae included relapses, persisting renal impairment, hepatitis, and transfusion-associated acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Relapses occurred in 21% of patients during a median follow-up of 1.1 years (range, 0.1 to 18 years). Analyses of the treatment given in addition to plasma did not demonstrate a significant benefit in terms of reducing the illness duration, mortality, or long-term sequelae.

Conclusion: While most patients recovered from TTP-HUS, deaths still occurred and many patients suffered long-term complications. The role of the treatments given in addition to plasma is uncertain.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Erythrocyte Transfusion
  • Female
  • Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome / complications
  • Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome / etiology
  • Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plasma Exchange
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Hematologic / therapy
  • Purpura, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic / complications
  • Purpura, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic / therapy*
  • Recurrence
  • Renal Replacement Therapy
  • Splenectomy
  • Treatment Outcome