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Apheresis for Kidney Disease

Kengo FuruichiTakashi Wada Contrib Nephrol  2018;196:188-193. doi: 10.1159/000485721. Epub 2018 Jul 24

Plasma exchange or double filtration plasmapheresis for rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) apheresis or leukocytapheresis for nephritic syndrome are two major apheresis therapies for kidney diseases. In addition to these apheresis therapies, plasma exchange for lupus nephritis or LDL apheresis for refractory focal segmental glomerulonephritis is clinically valuable and established. Although several possibilities of apheresis for kidney diseases were speculated in animal experiments or human studies, clinical applications have thus far been limited. In addition to clinical benefits of apheresis, reports revealed suggestive mechanisms of apheresis for the diseases. Moreover, these therapies would have a great potential for kidney diseases. Further studies are needed to establish the effectiveness of apheresis in kidney diseases in more depth.

Apheresis for Kidney Disease – PubMed (

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Therapeutic Apheresis in Immunologic Renal and Neurological Diseases

Rolf Bambauer 1Reinhard Latza 2Daniel Burgard 3Ralf Schiel 4 ,

Ther Apher Dial 2017 Feb;21(1):6-21.

Here, the authors provide an overview of the most important pathogenic aspects indicating that TA can be a supportive therapy in systemic autoimmune diseases such as renal and neurological disorders. For the immunological diseases that can be treated with TA, the guidelines of the German Working Group of Clinical Nephrology and of the Apheresis Committee of the American Society for Apheresis are cited.

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Effects of Granulocyte and Monocyte Adsorptive Apheresis in Renal Transplantation Recipients With Concomitant Cytomegalovirus Infection.

T Naganuma 1Y Takemoto 2T Iwai 2N Kuwabara 2J Uchida 2T Nakatani 2K Kitamura 3A Masuda 3K Ohmori 4M Matsuura 5H Nakase 5 , Transplant Proc. 2016 Apr;48(3):929-32.

This case series found that GMAA in combination with antiviral drugs may shorten the duration of treatment against CMV infection in renal transplant recipients. Further studies in a larger number of patients are required to confirm these results.

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Adacolumn Granulocyte-Apheresis for Alcoholic Hepatitis: Preliminary Study

V Morabito 1S Novelli 2L Poli 3G Ferretti 4F Ruberto 5F Pugliese 5R Pretagostini 3P B Berloco 3M Rossi 3 , Transplant Proc. 2016 Mar;48(2):352-8.

The Adacolumn apheresis was safe and was able to determine an improvement of clinical status of patients with reduction of inflammatory markers. More patients are needed to validate these results.

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Management of hepatitis C virus infection in liver transplantation with adacolumn apheresis.

G Novelli 1M RossiV MorabitoG FerrettiR PretagostiniF RubertoF PuglieseN GuglielmoP B Berloco , Transplant Proc. 2012 Sep;44(7):1946-52.

Recurrent hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of liver transplant loss, hepatic failure, and retransplantation need. Posttransplantation antiviral therapy in patients with evidence of recurrent disease is the mainstay of management. Although HCV is a hepatocellular pathogen, there is increasing evidence that the virus can infect and persist in other cells. In particular, granulocytes and monocytes/macrophages are known to constitute extrahepatic sites for HCV replication and dissemination. The aim of this study was to apply Adacolumn apheresis as a possible therapeutic alternative to conventional drug therapy to manage HCV infections. Seven patients who underwent liver transplantation for HCV-related cirrhosis were eligible for the study. The patients underwent 5 1-hour sessions for 5 consecutive days. The first treatment was performed in the anhepatic phase of liver transplantation with the intent to early reduce infected granulocytes and monocytes/macrophages. The patients were evaluated over the 5 days after inclusion with 3- and 6-months follow-ups. Early apheresis treatments in the anhepatic phase and over the following 4 days after transplantation produced low viral loads in 4 patients, negative viral loads in 2 patients, and increased viremia in 1 patient. At follow-up, the viremia load was stable in 6 patients without increased transaminase levels. At the end of the treatment cycle, almost all immune cells of the 6 patients maintained CD4+/CD8+ T-cell ratios. The optimal timing of treatment initiation is unknown, but early preemptive therapy is recommended to decrease the risk for recurrent infection. Although this study investigated the responses among a small number of patients, it documented that the Adacolumn changed cellular immunity, promoting early virologic responses.

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Adacolumn apheresis for hepatitis C virus in patients waiting for kidney transplant. Preliminary study.

Gilnardo Novelli 1Giancarlo FerrettiVincenzo MorabitoPaola CintiLuca PoliRenzo PretagostiniPasquale B Berloco, G Ital Nefrol. Jan-Feb 2012;29 Suppl 54:S109-13.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection occurs much more frequently in the hemodialysis population than in the general population. Patients with chronic kidney disease with persistent HCV infection may develop serious and progressive chronic liver disease, with associated long-term morbidity and mortality related to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Monocytes and macrophages are known to produce extrahepatic breeding sites and spread the disease. Our aim was to lower the levels of macrophages, granulocytes, monocytes, proinflammatory cells and viremia using an extracorporeal device: the Adacolumn ® leukocyte apheresis system (Otsuka). The Adacolumn is a direct hemoperfusion-type leukapheresis device. The column is a single-use (disposable) polycarbonate column with a capacity of about 335 mL, filled with 220-g cellulose acetate beads of 2 mm in diameter bathed in physiological saline. The carriers adsorb ”activated” granulocytes and monocytes/macrophages that bear Fc and complement receptors. The patients underwent five 1-hour sessions for five consecutive days. The column was placed in an extracorporeal setting with a perfusion rate of 30 mL/min and a duration of 60 minutes. A reduction of viremia was observed in all patients in association with a decrease in cytokine levels and a proportional decrease in immune cells. Although this study investigated responses in a small number of patients, it was shown that the Adacolumn changed the cellular immunity and promoted early viral response.

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Adacolumn treatment in kidney transplant patients with hepatitis C virus

G Novelli 1M RossiG FerrettiL PoliR PretagostiniF RubertoV MorabitoP CintiF NudoG MenniniP B Berloco , Transplant Proc. 2009 May;41(4):1195-200. 

he treatment was safe without hemodynamic or infectious complications, suggesting that this method could be used in a greater number of patients to evaluate amelioration of increased viremia.

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Treatment With Cytapheresis for Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-associated Renal Vasculitis and Its Effect on Anti-inflammatory Factors

Midori Hasegawa 1Asako WatanabeHiroki TakahashiKazuo TakahashiMasami KasugaiNahoko KawamuraHiroko KushimotoKazutaka MurakamiMakoto TomitaKunihiro NabeshimaAtsushi OohashiFumiko KondouHisaji OoshimaYoshiyuki HikiSatoshi Sugiyama, Ther Apher Dial. 2005 Aug;9(4):297-302.

These results indicated that the mortality rate by infection could be reduced by adding cytapheresis therapy. Concerning the mechanism of cytapheresis, anti-inflammatory factors such as soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor, and interleukin-10 reduced after cytapheresis. These changes might be responsible for the efficacy of cytapheresis. In conclusion, cytapheresis is thought to be one of the effective treatments for RPGN caused by MPO-ANCA-associated vasculitis, reducing the levels of anti-inflammatory factors.

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Cytapheresis for the Treatment of Myeloperoxidase Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-Associated Vasculitis: Report of Five Cases

Midori Hasegawa 1Nahoko KawamuraMasami KasugaiSigehisa KoideMasamitsu MuraseSinsuke AsanoTakako TobaHiroko KushimotoKazutaka MurakamiMakoto TomitaMasahiko ShikanoSatoshi Sugiyama, Ther Apher. 2002 Dec;6(6):443-9.

In the pulmonary hemorrhage patient, evidence of pulmonary hemorrhage on chest computed tomography scanning diminished after combined therapy with cytapheresis and corticosteroids. Cytapheresis, when combined with a low-dose or intermediate-dose PSL regimen, is effective in the treatment of ANCA-associated vasculitis.

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