New developments in the understanding of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) provide opportunities for improved patient care. A widely held historical model of TTP microvascular thrombosis implicated circulating ultralarge von Willebrand factor (ULVWF) in causing spontaneous platelet (PLT) aggregation. From this pathogenic model, concerns about ULVWF in fresh-frozen plasma (FFP) used to treat patients led to widespread use of cryopoor plasma (CPP) as an alternative. There is scant evidence, however, that circulating ULVWF contributes to microvascular thrombosis in TTP. New evidence suggests that the formation of PLT aggregates in TTP may be mediated by VWF in the process of being released from endothelium. Moreover, clinical studies do not demonstrate superior efficacy of CPP compared to FFP in the treatment of TTP. Because CPP may have reduced concentrations of factors important in the treatment of TTP, including ADAMTS13 metalloprotease, a reappraisal of the use of CPP in the treatment of TTP is warranted.
ASJC Scopus subject areas