Therapeutic plasma exchange does not appear to be effective in the management of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura/hemolytic uremic syndrome following bone marrow transplantation

R. Sarode, J. G. McFarland, N. Flomenberg, J. T. Casper, E. P. Cohen, W. R. Drobyski, R. C. Ash, M. M. Horowitz, B. Camitta, C. Lawton, F. Garbrecht, J. L. Gottschall

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93 Scopus citations


Recognition of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP)/hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) following BMT has increased in recent years. The pathogenesis and etiology may be related to endothelial cell damage secondary to irradiation and/or CsA. Optimal management of this condition remains unclear. Due to similarity between this syndrome and classical TTP, patients with TTP/HUS following BMT are commonly treated with therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE). We describe our experience with 9 such patients who were treated with TPE (8 cases) and immunoadsorption with a Staphylococcal Protein A column (1 case). The exchanges were done with fresh frozen plasma and/or cryoprecipitate-depleted frozen plasma. Out of 8 patients treated with TPE, 6 died within 2 months of TPE due to secondary infections, metabolic disturbances and progression of TTP/HUS. Of these 6 patients, 5 had no hematological response, while 1 had hematological improvement. Two patients are alive 4 and 3 years later, however, they had shown only minimal hematological response at the end of 28 and 20 TPE, respectively. Their renal function remains stable but severely reduced. The ninth patient who received Staphylococcal Protein A column treatment died within 5 days of treatment without hematological improvement. Thus, in contrast to its effectiveness in classical TTP, TPE does not appear to be as effective in the management of well established TTP/HUS following BMT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-275
Number of pages5
JournalBone Marrow Transplantation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995



  • Bone marrow transplantation
  • Hemolytic uremic syndrome
  • Plasma exchange
  • Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Transplantation

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