Abstract The thrombotic microangiopathies are microvascular occlusive disorders characterized by hemolytic anemia caused by fragmentation of erythrocytes and thrombocytopenia due to increased platelet aggregation and thrombus formation, eventually leading to disturbed microcirculation with reduced organ perfusion. Depending on whether brain or renal lesions prevail, two different entities have been described: thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). However, not rarely the clinical distinctions between these two conditions remain questionable. Recent studies have contributed greatly to our current understanding of the molecular mechanisms leading to TTP and HUS. In this review, we briefly focus on the most important advances in the pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of these two thrombotic microangiopathies.