Updated: December 2014
Published: September 2012
What is Thrombotic Microangiopathy (TMA)?
Thrombotic microangiopathy is a group of disorders that is characterized by thrombocytopenia and microangiopathic hemolytic anemia (intravascular hemolysis and presence of peripheral blood schistocytes), neurological symptoms, fever, and renal dysfunction. Ischemic organ injury can occur to the brain, kidneys, heart, pancreas, liver, and lungs.
Because of the variety of TMA disorders and different treatment
options for each, prompt and accurate diagnosis can significantly
impact a patient’s outcome.
The various disorders include:
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- Congenital and idiopathic thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP)
- Secondary TTP including TMAs in patients with metastatic cancer
- HELLP, a syndrome characterized by hemolysis, elevated liver enzyme levels, and a low platelet count, that may rarely occur in pregnancy
- Shiga toxin-producing E Coli hemolytic uremic syndrome (STEC-HUS)
- Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)
- Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS)