Intravenous immunoglobulin as an adjunct to plasma exchange for the treatment of chronic thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
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Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a life-threatening disease. Therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) is the most effective therapy; however, despite TPE, about one-third of TTP patients will relapse. A subset of patients with TTP has antibodies to ADAMTS13 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with a thrombospondin type 1 motif, member 13) and may become resistant to conventional treatments. We describe a patient with TTP and high-titre anti-ADAMTS13 antibodies who developed a chronic, relapsing course of TTP despite frequent TPE. Once adjuvant treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) was added, remission was achieved. Even during remission, anti-ADAMTS13 antibodies remained elevated. We conclude that IVIG may sustain remission in some patients with chronic, relapsing TTP.
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