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May 1961

Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura: Intestinal Hemorrhage as a Cardinal Manifestation

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Medicine, Temple University Medical Center, Philadelphia.; Associate Professor of Medicine (Dr. Finestone), and Resident in Medicine (Dr. Lawrence), Temple University Medical Center, Philadelphia.

Arch Intern Med. 1961;107(5):750-753. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620050116013

In recent years the clinical entity of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura has been recognized with increasing frequency. We have recently observed a case of this syndrome in which bloody diarrhea was the primary manifestation of platelet deficiency which led to the antemortem diagnosis. Since this is a clinical situation of protean manifestations, we believe that this report will call attention to still another facet of this interesting condition.

Report of Case  A 65-year-old white man* was admitted to Temple University Hospital in acute respiratory distress and in an irrational, disorientated, and semistuporous state. He had apparently been in his usual health until about one week prior to admission, at which time he developed almost constant nausea and vomiting. The day before admission he developed progressive mental haziness. Past medical history included myocardial infarction 5 years previously, allergy to penicillin, and hospitalization at another institution 3 months ago for anterior chest pain.

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