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01.12.2011 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2011 Open Access

Journal of Medical Case Reports 1/2011

Idiopathic combined, autoantibody-mediated ADAMTS-13/factor H deficiency in thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura-hemolytic uremic syndrome in a 17-year-old woman: a case report

Journal of Medical Case Reports > Ausgabe 1/2011
Daniel Patschan, Peter Korsten, Arne Behlau, Radovan Vasko, Malte Heeg, Nadera Sweiss, Gerhard A Müller, Michael Koziolek
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1752-1947-5-598) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors' contributions

DP is currently our patient's physician. DP and KP wrote the article. AB, RV, and MH were responsible for treating our patient in the intensive care unit. NJS helped in the preparation of the manuscript. GAM participated in writing the article. MK also participated in writing the article and helped to collect all necessary data. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura-hemolytic uremic syndrome is a life-threatening condition with various etiopathogeneses. Without therapy approximately 90% of all patients die from the disease.

Case presentation

We report the case of a 17-year-old Caucasian woman with widespread hematomas and headache. Due to hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, and schistocytosis, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura-hemolytic uremic syndrome was suspected and plasma exchange therapy was initiated immediately. Since her thrombocyte level did not increase during the first week of therapy, plasma treatment had to be intensified to a twice-daily schedule. Further diagnostics showed markedly reduced activities of both ADAMTS-13 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with a thrombospondin type 1 motif, member 13 - also known as von Willebrand factor-cleaving protease) and factor H. Test results for antibodies against both proteins were positive. While plasma exchange therapy was continued, rituximab was given once weekly for four consecutive weeks. After the last dose, thrombocytes and activities of ADAMTS-13 and factor H increased into the normal range. Our patient improved and was discharged from the hospital.


Since no clinical symptoms/laboratory findings indicated a malignant or specific autoimmune-mediated disorder, the diagnosis made was thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura-hemolytic uremic syndrome due to idiopathic combined, autoantibody-mediated ADAMTS-13/factor H deficiency.

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