Splenectomy for the treatment of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.
ABSTRACT Plasma exchange is the treatment of choice for patients with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) and results in remission in >80% of the cases. Treatment of patients who are refractory to plasma therapy or have relapsing disease is difficult. Splenectomy has been a therapeutic option in these conditions but its value remains controversial. We report on a series of 33 patients with TTP who were splenectomised because they were plasma refractory (n = 9) or for relapsed disease (n = 24). Splenectomy generated prompt and unmaintained remissions in all except five patients, in whom remission was delayed (n = 4) or who died with progressive disease (n = 1). Four postoperative complications occurred: one pulmonary embolism and three surgical complications. Median follow-up after splenectomy was 109 months (range 28-230 months). The overall postsplenectomy relapse rate was 0.09 relapses/patient-year and the 10-year relapse-free survival (RFS) was 70% (95% CI 50-83%). In the patients with relapsing TTP, relapse rate fell from 0.74 relapses/patient-year before splenectomy to 0.10 after splenectomy (P < 0.00001). Two patients died from first postsplenectomy relapse. Although these results are based on retrospective data and that the relapse rate may spontaneously decrease with time, we conclude that splenectomy, when performed during stable disease, has an acceptable safety profile and should be considered in cases of plasma refractoriness or relapsing TTP to reach durable remissions and to reduce or prevent future relapses.
- SourceAvailable from: Luis TeixeiraAnnals of internal medicine 03/2004; 140(4):314-5. · 13.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a rare disorder of small vessels that is associated with deficiency of the von Willebrand factor-cleaving protease, ADAMTS13. The presence of anti-ADAMTS13 autoantibodies is considered a factor predisposing to relapses. Despite close monitoring and intensive plasma treatment, in these patients acute episodes are still associated with substantial morbidity and mortality rates, and the optimal therapeutic option should be prevention of relapses. This study was conducted in a patient with recurrent TTP due to high titers of ADAMTS13 inhibitors, who used to have 2 relapses of TTP a year. The study compared the standard treatment plasma exchange with rituximab. Results documented that plasma exchange had only a small transient effect on ADAMTS13 activity and inhibitors; on the contrary, prophylaxis with rituximab was associated with disappearance of anti-ADAMTS13 antibodies, a progressive recovery of protease activity, and it allowed the patient to maintain a disease-free state during a more than 2-year follow-up.Blood 09/2005; 106(3):925-8. · 9.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Analysis of the incidence, treatment modalities and disease course of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) in the Netherlands. Retrospective follow-up study. 13 centres in the Netherlands. Regarding all patients admitted between 1-1-1979 and 1-1-1992 to one of 13 Dutch haematological centres, in whom the diagnosis of TTP was made for the first time, information was gathered from the medical records and from the patients own physicians on patient characteristics at presentation and the occurrence of relapse or death. The follow-up period tended on 1-4-1995. A total of 65 patients with newly diagnosed TTP were identified: 0.34 per 1,000,000 persons a year (95% confidence interval (95%-CI): 0.26-0.45), increasing to 0.83 in the last year of the study. Forty-six (95%) patients were treated with fresh frozen plasma: 18 (28%) by plasma infusion and 44 (68%) by plasma exchange; 48 (74%) (additionally) received corticosteroids. All 52 patients (80%) who survived the first four weeks after admission reached complete remission. Twelve patients with relapsing TTP underwent splenectomy in remission. The 5-year survival rate was 77% (95% CI: 66-87) and the 5-year relapse-free survival rate 38% (95% CI: 25-52). Cardiac symptoms, severe thrombocytopenia and a high serum LDH were risk factors for acute mortality, but no risk factors for relapse or late-occurring death could be identified. TTP is a rare disease which is increasingly being recognized. Plasma exchange and corticosteroids are the most frequently used therapies. The disease has a high mortality rate in the acute phase of the disease.Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde 07/1997; 141(24):1192-6.