Chapter 53 – The use of therapeutic apheresis in allergic and immunological diseases
A Practical Guide to the Evaluation, Diagnosis and Management of Allergic and Immunologic Diseases 2022, Pages 1527-1583
Apheresis is a term for a group of extracorporeal treatments in which blood is separated into its components, with some components being discarded and replaced or subsequently modified. The replacement fluids/cells or modified components, along with the remainder of the blood, are then returned to the patient. These procedures can alter the immune system, both humoral and cellular, and have been used to treat a variety of common and uncommon immunologic diseases beginning in the late 1950s. The basic background information important for understanding those apheresis procedures used to treat immunologic disorders as well as the important patient considerations are discussed. A synopsis of immunologic diseases treated with apheresis, based upon the American Society for Apheresis Guidelines for the use of apheresis in clinical practice, is provided including treatment schedules and “dosing,” patient evaluation and laboratory monitoring, and the proposed mechanism of action. Unique considerations for each treatment, such as their effects on patient management and concurrent therapies, are also discussed. Apheresis is a group of related therapies that can effectively treat several immunologic diseases with a growing but still a limited base of published evidence.
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