What is Plasmapheresis?

Plasmapheresis is a medical procedure in which a patient's plasma (blood plasma) is separated from his/her blood cells. The blood cells are then returned to the body without the plasma. This procedure is used in the treatment of many diseases, including autoimmune disorders, kidney diseases, and some cancers.

How Does Plasmapheresis Work?

During plasmapheresis, a patient's blood is passed through a special device which separates the plasma from the cells. The plasma is then discarded while the blood cells are returned to the patient's body, resulting in a decreased concentration of antibodies in the patient's body.

What are the Benefits of Plasmapheresis?

Plasmapheresis has many potential benefits. It can:

  • Reduce levels of circulating antibodies
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Reduce the amount of abnormal immune cells
  • Reduce levels of antigens
  • Alleviate symptoms of disease
  • Control progression of disease
  • Improve the effectiveness of other treatments

What are the Potential Side Effects of Plasmapheresis?

Plasmapheresis is generally considered to be a safe procedure, but there are some potential side effects that may occur. These include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle pain
  • Heavy bleeding

Who Should Not Have Plasmapheresis?

Plasmapheresis is not recommended for certain individuals, such as:

  • Pregnant women
  • Individuals with severe anemia
  • Individuals who are receiving chemotherapy or other treatments
  • Individuals with a history of clotting disorders