Thrombotic Microangiopathy

  • Hau C. Kwaan
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 281)


In 1924, Moschcowitz (1) reported the occurrence of an “acute febrile pleiochromic anemia” in a 16 year old girl who died 13 days after presenting with fever, malaise and upper extremity weakness. On autopsy, widespread hyaline microthrombi were found in the terminal arterioles and capillaries (1, 2). Since then, this particular syndrome has been better characterized and is now known as thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) (3) or Moschcowitz disease (4). This syndrome is seen in a wide variety of conditions and is referred to as “Thrombotic Microangiopathy” (TM) (5–7). They all have in common a microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, and the presence of a microvascular thrombotic lesion. The microvascular lesion is usually generalized. Its heavy involvement in certain locations results in the expression of dysfunction of specific organs, commonly the kidney, central nervous system, heart and lung. The various conditions associated with TM are listed in Table 1 and include hemolytic uremic syndrome, postpartum renal failure and other microangiopathic hemolytic anemias as seen in connective tissue disease, cancer, infection, and as a result of drug toxicity. A complete review on this topic was recently published (8).


Human Immunodeficiency Virus Disseminate Intravascular Coagulation Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura Thrombotic Microangiopathy 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hau C. Kwaan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MedicineNorthwestern University Medical SchoolChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Section of Hematology/OncologyVA Lakeside MEdical CenterChicagoUSA

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