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Who Is at Risk for Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura?

Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a rare disorder. Most cases of TTP are acquired. Acquired TTP mostly occurs in adults, but it can affect children. The condition occurs more often in women and in Black people than in other groups.

Inherited TTP mainly affects newborns and children. Most people who have inherited TTP begin to have symptoms soon after birth. Some, however, don't have symptoms until they're adults.

It isn't clear what triggers inherited and acquired TTP, but some factors may play a role. These factors may include:

  • Some diseases and conditions, such as pregnancy, cancer, HIV, lupus, and infections
  • Some medical procedures, such as surgery and blood and marrow stem cell transplant
  • Some medicines, such as chemotherapy, ticlopidine, clopidogrel, cyclosporine A, and hormone therapy and estrogens
  • Quinine, which is a substance often found in tonic water and nutritional health products
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March 21, 2014 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.