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What Is Plasma Exchange

2014-06-22 17:52

Plasma exchange is a medical procedure in which plasma with toxins or wastes are removed from the blood. After that, usually some fresh and healthy plasma are injection into patient's body to replace the lost plasma.

Plasma exchange is suitable for kidney disease patients who a large number of immune complexes in their blood and after plasma exchange, the amount of immune complexes can be reduced greatly. Therefore, plasma exchange shows great treatment effects in the short term. In many cases, immune complexes deposit in kidney and therefore cause immune response which damage our kidney directly, so plasma exchange is very helpful in treating kidney problem. However, as plasma exchange only helps to remove immune complexes and can not prevent the forming of immune complexes, it is usually used together with hormone and immunosuppressive agents.

In medical field, plasma exchange is not only effective in clearing substances with small and middle molecular weight, but also shows great effects in removing large substances like protein and immune complexes. Therefore, compared with hemodialysis, hemofiltration and hemoperfusion, plasma exchange is better for patients to purify their blood. Besides, as some fresh and healthy blood are injected into patients' body after plasma exchange, patients can get albumin, coagulation factor and other essential substances needed by them, so it is more of helpful for kidney disease patients to take plasma exchange than simply take dialysis.

Plasma exchange is helpful in cleaning blood, but not everyone with wastes in blood can adopt this medical method. The major indications of plasma exchange include:

1. Poisoning caused by various conditions

2. Kidney Diseases like Lupus Nephritis, Purpura Nephritis, IgA Nephropathy and so on.

3. Autoimmune diseases like Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE),Dermatomyositis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and so on.

4. Blood system diseases like autoimmune hemolytic anemia, hemolytic-uremic syndrome and so on.

5. Nervous system diseases like Myasthenia Gravis, Multiple Sclerosis and so on.

6. Acute and Chronic Liver Failure

7. Familial hypercholesterolemia

Plasma exchange plays an important role in medical field, but if we do not adopt it under doctor's direction, various bothersome conditions like bleeding, virus infection, anaphylactic reaction will be caused. Therefore, it is of great importance for patients to learn some basic information about plasma exchange before really start.

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