The medical abbreviation "TTP" stands for "Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura". TTP is a rare and serious blood disorder characterized by the formation of small blood clots (thrombi) in the small blood vessels throughout the body, leading to low platelet count (thrombocytopenia), anemia, and organ damage.
The exact cause of TTP is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve a deficiency or dysfunction of a specific enzyme called ADAMTS13, which helps to break down large multimers of von Willebrand factor (vWF), a protein involved in blood clotting. Without enough functioning ADAMTS13, the vWF multimers can accumulate in the blood and form clots.
TTP is a medical emergency that requires prompt diagnosis and treatment, often in an intensive care unit (ICU). Treatment typically involves plasma exchange (also known as plasmapheresis), in which the patient's blood plasma is removed and replaced with fresh donor plasma to replenish the missing ADAMTS13 enzyme. Other treatments may include corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and blood transfusions.