Plasmapheresis in Acute Critical Conditions

  • G. Berlot
  • R. Dezzoni
Conference paper


At the very beginning of medicine, the cornerstone of the treament of many diseases consisted in the removal of toxic substances from the body. This approach gained new popularity in more recent times, when a more in-depth understanding of the pathophysiologic mechanisms of uremia and the development of new materials led to the introduction of hemodialysis and related techniques for the treatment of acute and chronic renal failure. At the same time it became clear that also other disorders, determined by the an abnormal presence of endogenous or exogenous substances in the patients’ blood, could be treated using techniques aimed at their removal. Thus, plasmapheresis (PP) (i.e. the removal of a limited amount of plasma) and plasmaexchange (PE) (i.e. the removal and substitution of the whole plasma volume) were used besides other methods of blood purification (i.e. hemoperfusion) for a host of diseases, with the aim to remove the possible etiologic factor(s). However, the results of PE and PP were often disappointing or misleading due to different causes. First, in many cases the abnormal substances removed were more a biological marker of the disease than its causative agents and, as a consequence, their removal was futile [1]. Second, other studies involved only a small number of patients, with relevant differences in the entry criteria and in the endpoints [2].


Plasma Exchange Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome Therapeutic Plasma Exchange Blood Purification 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Berlot
  • R. Dezzoni

There are no affiliations available

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