Intraindividual comparison of two extracorporeal LDL apheresis methods: lipidfiltration and HELP

Int J Artif Organs. 2002 Dec;25(12):1180-8. doi: 10.1177/039139880202501210.


Low density lipoprotein (LDL) apheresis is an effective treatment option for patients with severe hypercholesterolemia not adequately responding to diet and drug therapy. Membrane differential filtration (MDF), synonymous with double filtration plasmapheresis (DFPP), here named Lipidfiltration, and heparin-induced extracorporeal LDL-precipitation (HELP) are two of the five methods available for extracorporeal LDL apheresis. In this prospective investigation 6 patients with severe LDL-hypercholesterolemia and CAD were treated in a cross-over design with Lipidfiltration at two stages of technical development and HELP to compare the efficacy of these two LDL apheresis methods with respect to lowering and modifying plasma lipids and rheologically relevant plasma proteins, especially fibrinogen. In total, 44 LDL apheresis sessions were investigated. In weekly intervals, patients were treated with consecutive LDL apheresis sessions with either Lipidfiltration and HELP, treating identical plasma volumes. In one part of the investigation Lipidfiltration was performed with the novel Lipidfilter EC-50, combined with a newly developed blood and plasma therapy machine allowing optimized plasma heating. The results showed that the reduction rates of LDL-cholesterol, lipoprotein(a) and triglycerides were essentially identical for both methods. Also pretreatment levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL-cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol were not significantly different in both treatment groups. Both methods lead to a significant reduction of serum lipoproteins, especially for LDL-cholesterol, which was decreased by 61.4% with Lipidfiltration (treated plasma volume: 2998 ml) and 61.3% with HELP (treated plasma volume: 3013 ml). With respect to Lipidfiltration LDL-cholesterol reduction was more efficient with the novel Lipidfilter EC-50. Mean pretreatment HDL cholesterol concentrations remained unchanged. Comparing Cascadeflo AC-1770 with the novel Lipidfilter EC-50 reduction rates of HDL-cholesterol (17.4% versus 6.4%) and total protein (17.9% versus 7.8%) were significantly reduced. Lipidfiltration and HELP both resulted in a reduction of plasma viscosity and hemorheologically relevant plasma proteins, like fibrinogen.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Blood Component Removal / methods*
  • Chemical Precipitation
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood*
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipoproteinemia Type II / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL