Von Willebrand factor (VWF) multimer size is controlled through continuous proteolysis by ADAMTS13 (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with a thrombospondin type I motif, member 13). This prevents spontaneous platelet agglutination and microvascular obstructions. ADAMTS13 deficiency is associated with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), where life-threatening episodes of microangiopathy damage kidneys, heart and brain. Enigmatically, a complete ADAMTS13 deficiency does not lead to continuous microangiopathy. We hypothesized that plasmin, the key enzyme of the fibrinolytic system, serves as a physiological backup enzyme for ADAMTS13 in the degradation of pathological platelet-VWF complexes.