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Papers of the Week

2020 Jul




Long-term neuropsychological sequelae, emotional wellbeing and quality of life in patients with acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.


Riva S, Mancini I, Maino A, Ferrari B, Artoni A, Agosti P, Peyvandi F
Haematologica. 2020 Jul; 105(7):1957-1962.
PMID: 31558667.


Neurological symptoms related to microthrombosis are the hallmark of acute manifestations of acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Despite the achievement of hematological remission, patients may report persisting neurological impairment that affects their quality of life. To assess the long-term neuropsychological consequences of acute thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, we recruited 35 acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura patients (77% females, median age at onset 41 years, interquartile range 35-48) regularly followed at our out-patient clinic of thrombotic microangiopathies in Milan (Italy) from December 2015 to October 2016. Patients underwent a psychological evaluation of memory and attentional functions, emotional wellbeing and health-related quality of life at least 3 months after their last acute thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura event (median 36 months, interquartile range 17-54). During the psychological consultation, 17 patients (49%) referred persisting subjective neurological impairment in the frame of a remission phase, with at least one symptom as disorientation, loss of concentration, dizziness, lack of balance, headache and diplopia. Neuropsychological assessment revealed lower scores than the Italian general population pertaining to direct, indirect and deferred memory. A higher degree of impairment of memory domains was found in patients with neurological involvement at the time of presentation of the first acute thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura episode. Anxiety and depression were detected in 7 (20%) and 15 (43%) patients, respectively. Health-related quality of life was lower than the Italian general population, with mental domains more impacted than physical domains (mean difference 58.43, 95% confidence interval [-71.49, -45.37]). Our study demonstrates compromised memory and attention functions, persisting anxiety/depression symptoms and a generally reduced quality of life in patients surviving from acute acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. New clinical strategies should be considered to improve these symptoms.