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What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura?

Blood clots, a low platelet count, and damaged red blood cells cause the signs and symptoms of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP).

The signs and symptoms include:

  • Purplish bruises on the skin or mucous membranes (such as in the mouth). These bruises, called purpura, are caused by bleeding under the skin.
  • Pinpoint-sized red or purple dots on the skin. These dots, called petechiae, often are found in groups and may look like a rash. Bleeding under the skin causes petechiae.
  • Paleness or jaundice (a yellowish color of the skin or whites of the eyes).
  • Fatigue (feeling very tired and weak).
  • Fever.
  • A fast heart rate or shortness of breath.
  • Headache, speech changes, confusion, coma, stroke, or seizure.
  • A low amount of urine, or protein or blood in the urine.

If you've had TTP and have any of these signs or symptoms, you may be having a relapse (flareup). Ask your doctor when to call him or her or seek emergency care.

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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.