Differential indication of lipoprotein apheresis during pregnancy

Ther Apher Dial. 2003 Jun;7(3):359-64. doi: 10.1046/j.1526-0968.2003.00066.x.


Lipoprotein apheresis is an effective treatment for severe disorders of lipid metabolism. It is the only life prolonging therapy for patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia. Changes of lipid metabolism during pregnancy related to changes of hormone concentrations do not cause clinical complications in the majority of cases. However, in particular clinical situations there is the need to offer a therapeutic option. Increasing morbidity and mortality of mother and child due to severe disorders of lipid metabolism have to be prevented. In general, lipid lowering drugs are contraindicated during pregnancy. Therefore, lipoprotein apheresis offers an alternative, which could be used in select cases to treat acute or chronic hyperlipoproteinemia associated with pregnancy. This article summarizes experiences with patients, who became pregnant during chronic lipoprotein apheresis, or who were treated by lipoprotein apheresis because of acute disorders of lipid metabolism during pregnancy. In conclusion, after individual risk benefit analysis for mother and child lipoprotein apheresis can be safely performed during pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Component Removal / methods
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood*
  • Cholesterol, LDL / metabolism
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipoproteinemia Type II / diagnosis
  • Hyperlipoproteinemia Type II / therapy*
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood*
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / metabolism
  • Plasmapheresis / adverse effects
  • Plasmapheresis / methods*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy, High-Risk
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Lipoproteins, LDL