Forty percent of patients with iTTP relapse after 5 years of follow-up.
Preemptive anti-CD20 therapy is efficacious in 96% of ADAMTS13 relapses regardless of relapse frequency to achieve ADAMTS13 levels of >20%.
Disease relapse is recognized as a risk in immune-mediated thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (iTTP) after treatment of the acute presenting episode. Identification of patients at risk of relapse and its patterns are yet to be clearly established. We reviewed patients with iTTP having had >3 years of follow-up over 10 years in the United Kingdom to identify patient characteristics for relapse, assess relapse rates and patterns, and response to anti-CD20 therapy in those with a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with a thrombospondin type 1 motif, member 13 (ADAMTS13) relapses (ADAMTS13 activity of <20% without thrombocytopenia). We identified 443 patients demonstrating relapse rates of 40% at 5-year follow-up. At 10-year follow-up, no difference in relapse was observed irrespective of whether rituximab was used at acute presentation (P = .39). Black Caribbean ethnicity increased the risk of disease relapse in the British population. There was a distinct population of patients (6%) that relapsed early with subsequent frequent relapses occurring on average within 2 years (average time to relapse in subgroup, 1.7 years). Overall, nearly 60% of relapses described were ADAMTS13 relapses, with subsequent treatment reducing the risk of progression to clinical relapses. We demonstrate that iTTP diagnosed in the latter part of the study period had lower rates of clinical relapses (22.6% vs 11.1%, P = .0004) with the advent of regular monitoring and preemptive rituximab. In ADAMTS13 relapses, 96% responded to anti-CD20 therapy, achieving ADAMTS13 activity of >20%. Anti-CD20 therapy was demonstrated to be an effective long-term treatment regardless of relapse pattern and there was no loss of this treatment response after subsequent treatment episodes.