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Thrombotic microangiopathies

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Neil SheerinORCiD


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© Springer-Verlag London 2014. Thrombotic microangiopathies (TMAs) are a group of rare diseases characterised by microangiopathic haemolytic anaemia, thrombocytopenia and occlusion of small vessels by thrombi; the site and severity of which determine the clinical presentation. A diagnosis of TMA should be considered in any patient presenting with a combination of haemolytic anaemia and thrombocytopenia as TMA can rapidly progress to organ failure and death. The two main TMAs, haemolytic uraemia syndrome (HUS) and thrombotic thrombocytopenia purpura (TTP), were previously defined according to their clinical manifestations. HUS typically causes kidney injury, whereas in TTP neurological involvement predominates. Although in many cases the diagnosis is clear, in other cases it is not possible to reliably distinguish between these diseases purely on clinical criteria, particularly with HUS in which neurological involvement is a frequent finding. In addition, other organ involvement can also occur, further complicating the diagnosis. As a better understanding of the molecular basis of HUS and TTP develops, it is now possible to diagnose and differentiate between these diseases with greater accuracy. However, recognition of a TMA by clinicians is essential for the timely diagnosis and treatment of TMA.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sheerin NS

Editor(s): Harber M

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Practical Nephrology

Year: 2014

Pages: 323-330

Print publication date: 26/05/2014

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

Publisher: Springer-Verlag London Ltd

Place Published: London


DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4471-5547-8_30

Notes: 9781447155461 print ISBN.

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781447155478