Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is an uncommon multisystem disorder, sometimes associated with predisposing conditions such as pregnancy, cancer, exposure to certain drugs, bone marrow transplantation and HIV-1 infection. An abnormal interaction between the vascular endothelium and platelets which occurs in certain organs leads to thrombosis, endothelial proliferation, minimal inflammation and micro-angiopathic haemolysis. Recent studies suggest that endothelial cell perturbation and apoptosis caused by an as yet unknown plasma factor(s) may lead to the release of abnormal von Willebrand factor which facilitates the deposition of platelet microthrombi. Exchange transfusions of plasma or plasma-cryosupernatant remain the cornerstone of the treatment of TTP along with corticosteroids, platelet inhibitor drugs, vincristine and splenectomy. In most cases remissions can be attained, and cures are now common-although approximately one-half of the patients will relapse. While relapses are usually milder, they still carry a significant mortality and preventive therapies are not always effective.