Author(s): Martin JN Jr, Files JC, Blake PG, Perry KG Jr, Morrison JC
OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to investigate the postpartum use of plasma exchange in patients considered to have atypical preeclampsia-eclampsia manifested as persistent HELLP (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelets) syndrome with or without evidence of other organ injury.
STUDY DESIGN: During a 10-year period, 18 patients with HELLP syndrome were treated post partum with single or multiple plasma exchange with fresh-frozen plasma. Each patient was entered into the clinical trial either because of persistent evidence of atypical preeclampsia-eclampsia as HELLP syndrome > 72 hours after delivery (group 1) or with evidence of worsening HELLP syndrome at any time post partum in association with single- or multiple-organ injury (group 2). All procedures were performed with the IBM 2997 Cell Separator (IBM, Cobe Laboratories, Inc., Lakewood, Colo.) system. Maternal and perinatal outcomes were the main outcomes studied.
RESULTS: In the absence of other disease conditions, the 9 patients in group 1 with persistent postpartum HELLP syndrome complicated only by severe clinical expressions of preeclampsia-eclampsia responded rapidly to one or two plasma exchange procedures with few complications and no maternal deaths. In contrast, in the 9 patients of group 2 with HELLP syndrome presentations complicated by other organ disease, the response to plasma exchange was variable and there were two deaths in this group.
CONCLUSION: The current series of patients details the successful postpartum application of plasma exchange therapy for unremitting HELLP syndrome but reveals that a uniformly positive response to this therapy will not always be observed when there is additional single or multiple organ injury.Gynecology & Obstetrics