Thrombotic microangiopathy and retroviral infections: A 13‐year experience

Antonio Ucar, Hugo F. Fernandez, John J. Byrnes, Eric C‐Y Lian, William J. Harrington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Eleven of fifty serum samples collected from patients with a diagnosis of thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA), from 1979 to 1991, tested positive for antiretroviral antibodies. Seven had human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, and four had human lymphotrophic virus, type I (HTLV-I) infection. All patients were treated with plasma exchange and/or infusion, but only two of the HIV-infected patients obtained a complete response (CR) and one of them died after a few months. Combined results from the literature indicate that most patients with HIV infection survive less than one year from the initial diagnosis of TMA. In the setting of HIV infection, TMA is a treatable condition, but survival for most patients is less than 12 months. Three of the four HTLV-I infected patients with TMA had a CR. These observations strongly suggest that both HIV and HTLV-I infections are associated with TMA, but rigorous epidemiologic studies will be needed to determine the relative risk for each. Retroviral infections should be considered in patients with TMA, especially if the patient has associated risk factors and demographic characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-309
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Hematology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1994


  • AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome)
  • HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)
  • HTLV-I (human T-lymphotrophic virus, type I)
  • HUS (hemolytic uremic syndrome)
  • TTP (thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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