A rare combination of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura and antiphospholipid syndrome

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Thrombocytopenia, in the setting of microangiopathic hemolytic anemia and thrombotic events, is characteristic of both thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura and primary antiphospholipid syndrome. Clinically, it is difficult to distinguish between these two syndromes. We present a 41-year-old woman with chronic, relapsing thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura in the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies. She had clinical manifestations of antiphospholipid syndrome without meeting laboratory criteria of the Sydney classification system. In the literature, there have only been nine cases of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura associated with primary antiphospholipid syndrome. Seven of the nine cases suffered from one or multiple strokes, a common feature in antiphospholipid syndrome, but an uncommon finding in thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. We introduce the possibility of an association between thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura and the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies. Systematic testing of ADAMTS13 activity and anti-ADAMTS13 antibodies in patients who present with neurological symptoms and thrombocytopenia, in the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies, may help with the diagnosis of the rare thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura–antiphospholipid syndrome combination.

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