Dr. William Clark

Long-term Vascular Outcomes of Idiopathic Thrombotic Microangiopathy Treated with Plasma Exchange

Dr. William Clark, Professor of Medicine at the University of Western

Research Aims of this Study:

"The research aims of our current study, funded by the Foundation, are really to try to determine what the vascular outcomes of patients with TTP are. It has been a concern of ours that because of the prolonged exposure to intravascular micro thrombosis that these patients might have an increased risk of long-term vascular complications and we would like to determine this in order to provide prophylactic therapy if this in fact is the case for patients who suffer TTP."

How Dr. Clark became interested in TTP research:

"I became interested in TTP research in 1977 when I read the articles by Bykowski and Byrne, showing that for the first time patients who had normally all succumbed to the TTP process recovered with full function with plasma exchange therapy. I had a plasma exchange machine for another research project in Lupus and I requested my hematologic colleagues to send me the next TTP patient to see if this new therapy worked. In fact it not only worked but I have been involved both clinically and in research on TTP and associated TMA’s for the last 37 years."

How Dr. Clark believes this research will impact individuals living with or impacted by TTP:

"I think that our research will provide information about whether patients who have suffered an episode of TTP require prophylaxis and careful follow-up for the development and prevention of accelerated vascular disease, due to the previous episode of TTP. There are a variety of prophylactic measures which could be taken to prevent progression of their vascular disease if it is determined that they are an at risk population."

Comments from Dr. Clark to donors:

"I think it is very prudent to understand the full dimensions of what the TTP process means to patients who suffer this disorder. Not only do we need to know about the immediate treatment, but we also need to know about the long-term complications, particularly those related to damage to the blood vessels from the process of systemic clotting that patients with TTP suffer from. This work will give us the opportunity to find out if that is a risk factor and will inform us so that opportunities to intervene and provide better long term survival for those who suffered the original process of TTP will be implemented."