Author(s): Guillermo E Guzmán G, Diego F Bautista R, Luis Guillermo Arango V, Lina M García M, Luz Ángela Casas F and Karen Milena Feriz
Therapeutic plasmapheresis (TPE) is an extracorporeal blood purification technique in which blood removed from a patient can be separated into its various components, with selective removal of the full plasma. Special techniques allow high molecular weight substances, such as autoantibodies, immune complexes, cryoglobulins, hormones and immunoglobulins, to be removed from the plasma, followed by their replacement with human albumin or synthetic colloid and crystalloid solution. Such substances are comparatively large and therefore suitable for hemofiltration, and they also have a long half-life, meaning that the extracorporeal removal is much faster than endogenous clearance. Due to its ability to remove autoantibodies and immune complexes, TPE is indicated in autoimmune diseases, and also as an alternative therapy for fulminant hepatitis, agranulocytosis, vasculitis, skin rashes, and other diseases.
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