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May 9, 1994

Treatment Outcomes in Patients With Adult Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura—Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Hematology and Oncology, The Toronto (Ontario) Hospital (Drs Hayward, Sutton, Scott, Francombe, Shumak, and Baker); and the Department of Biostatistics, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond (Drs Carter and Campbell).

Arch Intern Med. 1994;154(9):982-988. doi:10.1001/archinte.1994.00420090056006

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.

Conclusions:  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.(Arch Intern Med. 1994;154:982-987)