X. Long Zheng, MD, PhD, Chair and Service Chief, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, at the University of Kansas Medical Center, talks about the need for more education and awareness about thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP).

TTP is an ultra-rare, hematologic condition that can potentially be life threatening if not recognized and treated properly. 

The condition is due to decreased activity of ADAMTS13, the von Willebrand factor-cleaving protease. The decreased activity of this enzyme leads to an accumulation of ULvWF multimers which bind to platelets and induce aggregation. The net result is severe thrombocytopenia, tissue ischemia, and organ dysfunction which can be life-threatening. 

As Dr. Zheng explains, the severity of the condition warrants more education about this rare disease, as well as a possible means to create warning systems to guide clinicians to think about TTP when a person presents with certain symptoms.

Recently, Dr. Zheng and colleagues wrote guidelines for managing people with TTP. A free pdf copy on those best practices can be obtained at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/jth.15009 

To learn more about TTP and other hematologic conditions, click here