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Acta Medica Colombiana

Print version ISSN 0120-2448

Abstract

RESTREPO VALENCIA, César A; MARQUEZ CUARTAS, Elizabeth  and  SANZ SCOVINO, Maria Fernanda. Therapeutic plasma exchange. Acta Med Colomb [online]. 2009, vol.34, n.1, pp.23-32. ISSN 0120-2448.

Plasmapheresis is an extracorporeal procedure by which the patient’s blood is separated into its components: plasma and cellular elements. It represents a variety of apheresis, and its main objective is to remove specific elements from plasma, which are considered mediators of pathological processes. There are 2 methods of plasmapheresis: plasmapheresis with centrifugation devices, which requires complicated equipment commonly used in blood banks, and plasmapheresis with highly permeable filter, which is also carried out in equipment exclusively designed for the purpose. This equipment is difficult to obtain. Plasmapheresis with highly permeable filters adapted to standard hemodialysis equipment is a simple, low-cost therapeutic option that can be put into practice by the medical and paramedical staff working in renal units. Based on our experience of 16 years practicing this procedure, we present our recommendations on how to perform it, as well as technical details and an approach on how to handle the complications that may arise.

Keywords : plasmapheresis; apheresis; hemodialysis equipment; technical; complications.

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