Secondary Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Acquired, noncongenital thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura in children and adolescents: clinical management and the use of ADAMTS 13 assays

McDonald, Vickiea; Liesner, Rib; Grainger, Johnc; Gattens, Michaeld; Machin, Samuel Ja; Scully, Mariea

Blood Coagulation & Fibrinolysis: April 2010 - Volume 21 - Issue 3 - p 245–250
doi: 10.1097/MBC.0b013e32833679cb

Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) in children is rare and is often thought to be due to congenital ADAMTS13 deficiency. We report seven new cases of noncongenital TTP in children and adolescents and perform a review of the literature where ADAMTS13 assays have been performed in paediatric acquired TTP. All new cases were female and the median age was 13 years. Presenting clinical features included bruising/petechiae or bleeding, fever, neurological, and renal impairment. Median Hb and platelet counts on admission were 66 g/l and 10 × 109/l respectively. Two cases had raised Troponin T levels and one had an abnormal ECG. All cases had ADAMTS13 activity less than 5% and an inhibitor to ADAMTS13. The median number of plasma exchange to remission was 22.5. Six cases received rituximab. Three achieved normal ADAMTS13 activity and remain in remission. Two had persistently low ADAMTS13 activity with high anti-ADAMTS13 IgG levels and one of these relapsed. One had moderately reduced levels of ADAMTS13 in remission with no inhibitor, however, a fall in ADAMTS13 activity and increase in anti-ADAMTS13 IgG heralded clinical relapse. The literature review identified 12 acquired cases showing low ADAMTS13 activity and inhibition of ADAMTS13 (in 95%). In children and adolescents TTP may be due to acquired deficiency of ADAMTS13, associated with an inhibitor/Anti-ADAMTS13 IgG antibodies. Treatment of acquired disease requires PEX and usually immunosuppressive treatment. Rituximab appears to be an effective adjunctive treatment modality.

aHaemostasis Research Unit, Department of Haematology, University College London, UK

bDepartment of Paediatric Haemostasis and Thrombosis, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children, London, UK

cManchester Children's Hospital, Manchester, UK

dDepartment of Paediatric Oncology & Haematology, Addenbrookes NHS Trust, Cambridge. UK

Received 21 April, 2009

Revised 26 November, 2009

Accepted 30 November, 2009

Correspondence to Dr Vickie McDonald, Haemostasis Research Unit, 1st Floor 51 Chenies Mews, London WC1E 6HX, UK Tel: +44 2076796419; fax: +44 2076796433; e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.