How is aTTP diagnosed?
Diagnosis is normally made from a combination of medical history, physical examination, and laboratory (lab) tests. When someone has symptoms that might be caused by aTTP, doctors will typically do blood tests to help with the diagnosis.
What lab tests will your doctor commonly order?
People with aTTP are usually diagnosed in the hospital because of their signs and symptoms. In addition to asking about your symptoms, your doctor is likely to perform lab tests to check the following:
Platelet and red blood cell count
Your doctor will confirm if there are fewer platelets and red blood cells in your blood than there should be. People with aTTP normally have very low platelet counts in their blood.
ADAMTS13 enzyme activity levels
The ADAMTS13 enzyme does not work as well as it should in people with aTTP. Lab tests can tell your doctor how well your ADAMTS13 is working.
Clots can block blood vessels and damage organs such as the brain, heart, or kidneys. This can cause serious health problems, such as stroke or seizure. Your doctor will perform different tests to check your organ function.
Who is affected by aTTP?
aTTP affects up to 5 people per million (or fewer than 2000 people) in the United States every year. We don’t know exactly what causes aTTP—it can affect anyone.
30 to 50 years old
aTTP usually affects people 30 to 50 years of age, but it can affect people of any age.
aTTP is more likely to affect women than men.
Potential risk factors
Pregnancy, weak immune system (eg, due to cancer or HIV), obesity, African American heritage, and infection.