Patients treated with therapeutic plasma exchange: a single center experience

Transfus Apher Sci. 2014 Dec;51(3):83-9. doi: 10.1016/j.transci.2014.10.006. Epub 2014 Oct 8.


Introduction: Therapeutic Plasma Exchange (TPE) is a therapeutic procedure that is used to remove high molecular weight substances from plasma. We analyzed data of patients who received TPE during the last 7 years, and focused on the efficiency of TPE in various disease groups.

Material and methods: We studied 110 patients treated with TPE by membrane plasma separation technique from 2007 to 2013. We examined the demographic data, underlying disease, biochemical parameters, volume and type of replacement fluid, complications, concomitant treatment, the need for hemodialysis and number of TPE sessions.

Results: One hundred ten patients, 58 male, 52 female were included. The mean age was 47.3 ± 17.6 years. A total of 734 TPE sessions were performed and the mean number of TPE sessions per patient was 6.6 ± 4.3. The underlying disease was renal transplantation in 26 patients, ANCA-associated vasculitis in 18, rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis in 17, hemolytic uremic syndrome in 11, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura in 9, autoimmunic hemolytic anemia in 6, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis in 6 and other diseases. Partial and complete remission was obtained in 65 (59.1%) and 24 patients (21.8%) respectively, while 14 (12.7%) patients had no response and 7 (6.4%) patients died. Complications were muscle cramps (6.4%), allergic reactions (4.5%), severe hypotension (3.6%), fever (1.8%), unconsciousness (0.9%), leukopenia (0.9%) and catheter related hematoma (0.9%).

Conclusion: According to our 7 years of experience in TPE, we can say that therapeutic plasma exchange by membrane separation technique is a useful, easy, available and effective life-saving therapeutic treatment.

Keywords: Fresh frozen plasma; Hemodiafiltration; Hemodialysis; Plasma exchange; Plasma volume.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune / therapy
  • Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-Associated Vasculitis / therapy
  • Female
  • Glomerulonephritis / therapy
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / therapy
  • Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome / therapy
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plasma Exchange*
  • Plasmapheresis*
  • Purpura, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic / therapy
  • Retrospective Studies