Emergency Plasmapheresis in a case of ThromboticThrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP)

Mariaserena Pioli Di Marco, Francesco Guercini, Chiara Busti, Olivia Minelli

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7175/cmi.v7i3.669


An 84 year-old female was admitted to our Department of Vascular Internal Medicine after a sudden onset of weakness on her right side and aphasia along with signs of myocardial ischemia from Electrocardiogram (EKG). Clinical and blood exams led to a suspicion of Moschcowitz syndrome, which was reinforced by the presence of numerous schistocytes on a peripheral blood smear.

Due to a rapid deterioration of vital signs as well as alertness, the patient underwent an emergency transfusion and plasmapheresis treatment as recommended by American Society of Apheresis (ASFA) guidelines: one plasma volume was replaced with fresh frozen plasma (FFP) every 24 hours, for the first eight days, in order to reach at least a level of 150,000 platelets/mm3 over three consecutive days accompanied by a decrease in LDH until to 670 UI/l.

After this therapy, the clinical picture significantly improved with a complete recovery of consciousness and the disappearance of neurological defects.

Examinations to determine the etiology made us hypothesize a secondary status of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura due to an autoimmune disorder compatible with Sjogren’s syndrome. The patient was discharged and prescribed prednisone.

Currently the patient is in good clinical condition and continues the therapy with prednisone (5 mg/die).


Plasmapheresis; ThromboticThrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP); Emergency

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