BACKGROUND: Acute thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a life-threatening emergency and plasma exchange (PEX) is the initial treatment shown to reduce acute mortality.
OBJECTIVES: To compare current practice in the United Kingdom (UK) against the standards set out in the 2012 British Society of Haematology guideline, and to better understand the issues affecting prompt initiation of PEX.
PATIENTS/METHODS: The trainee research network HaemSTAR conducted a retrospective nationwide review of adults presenting to UK hospitals with a first episode of acute TTP.
RESULTS: Data on 148 patients treated at 80 UK hospitals between 2014 and 2019 demonstrated that 64.8% of patients received PEX within 24 h. Diagnostic uncertainty was the most commonly cited reason for delayed treatment. Conversely, a shorter time to PEX occurred in patients who had red cell fragments or severe thrombocytopenia identified on their first complete blood count. Availability of on-site PEX was associated with a greater proportion of patients receiving PEX within 8 h compared to patients transferred, but by 24 h there was no difference between the two groups and two-thirds of all patients had received their first PEX. The mortality rate for patients that received PEX was 9.2%, with 27.8% of deaths linked to delayed treatment initiation.
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first multi-center evaluation of treatment delays in acute TTP and it will inform targeted pathways to improve prompt access to life-saving intervention.
Bibliographical note© 2022 International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.
- immune thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
- plasma exchange
- quality improvement
- service evaluation
ASJC Scopus subject areas