View Full Version : Any thoughts on plasmapheresis

10-02-2009, 03:23 AM
My daughter is being moved to Hamilton Ontario this afternoon.They want to perform a plasmapheresis treatment on her blood. She had a relapse this week and she is 29 year old. She has had WG for 5 years.

Anyone ever had this done?


10-02-2009, 03:33 AM
Yes, I had it when first diagnosed and I know that a number of other people on here have also had it. I think the main idea is to arrest kidney damage, but in my case, it did not work.
Although it may sound quite alarming, in my case at least, it involved no discomfort or side effects.

10-02-2009, 05:18 AM
Hi Mike

I had plasmspharesis when I was first diagnosed just under a year ago at the age of 25. I had lost about 40% of my kidney function and as Jack says it is used mostly to try and save the kidneys - it worked incredibly well for me and I have full function of my kidneys back.
They will put a line/catheter into your daughter's neck which is the only uncomfortable part of the procedure, they then connect her to a machine similar to dialysis which will remove her blood. It then passes through a filter which strips out the plasma containing the ugly PR3 antibodies, new donated plasma is then added to the blood and is returned to the patient whole.

I barely noticed the machine, except my filters clotted regularly which meant a session on the machine could take 6 hours - I had 6 treatments over 7 days. The break in the middle was to give me a blood transfusion of 3 units as unfortunately the filter tends to take some red blood cells as well. The only other trouble I had was an all over body rash which was an allergic reaction to the first set of plasma, but piriton soon sorted that out.
The idea of plasmapharesis is to reset the level of cANCA cells in the blood, thus getting a headstart on them when they start being produced again.

I highly recommend it and believe that it was the lifesaving factor in my treatment.

I hope your daughter benefits from it as much as I did and I hope I've put your mind at ease a little.


10-02-2009, 06:53 AM
Thanks Luce.

I am driving over tonight to see her.

She was transferred this afternoon from Guelph to Hamilton.

It is a large teaching hospital connected to McMaster University and the place where Kidney Transplants are performed.

So I suppose she is in the best place.

I hope your feeling well.


10-02-2009, 07:19 AM

I feel great thanks, after six months of cytoxan I'm now on cellcept and feel very nearly as good as I did before I got ill.

Drive safe and please keep us updated on your daughter's progress.


10-02-2009, 04:04 PM
Hi Mike, McMaster University Hospital is a great teaching hospital so your daughter will have excellent care. I assume she has a rheumatologist Weg's specialist who takes care of her. I am sure the procedure will do what is is supposed to do and your daughter will get full benefit of cleaning of the blood which this in essence is.
Let us know how she fares.

10-02-2009, 11:30 PM

They have moved her to the inpatient nephrology unit at St. Jospehs Health Care in Hamilton and I was very impressed last night.

They even offered to let her husband stay the night in the next bed, since it was not in use. We live in Guelph so it it only a 30 minute drive.

Thanks for your kind support.