Reducing the economic burden in management of Guillain-Barre syndrome using modified plasmapheresis

Asian J Transfus Sci. 2016 Jul-Dec;10(2):118-21. doi: 10.4103/0973-6247.187940.

Abstract

Background: Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is an autoimmune acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy affecting the peripheral nervous system treated with high-dose immunoglobulin, physical therapy, or plasmapheresis. Immunoglobulins are expensive and even plasmapheresis might not be affordable to patients visiting government set-ups.

Aims: This study was undertaken to emphasize the efficacy of plasmapheresis in treatment of adult GBS patients and to narrate methods of reducing the economic burden in the treatment of these patients using modified plasmapheresis.

Methods: A study was conducted on 12 adult GBS patients at Sir Takhtasinhji General Hospital, Bhavnagar from July 2012 to July 2014. Patients were assessed on a 6-point disability scale. They were treated with plasmapheresis over 10 days with REF627 kit from Haemonetics Corporation Limited on MCS+ machine. Improvement was noted by the change in the disability scale score and expenses of various modes of treatment were also considered.

Results: Seventy-five percent showed improvement at the end of the treatment. The cost of modified plasmapheresis was Rs. 8000/cycle, i.e., Rs. 40,000/patient.

Conclusion: Plasmapheresis along with proper supportive measures is a more cost-effective efficacious mode of therapy in adult patients of GBS. Further, modified plasmapheresis using REF627 kit and 6% hexastarch as replacement fluid on MCS+ apheresis machine reduces the cost of therapy for poor patients visiting government set-ups.

Keywords: Economical; Guillain–Barre syndrome; plasmapheresis.