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any procedure in which blood is withdrawn from a donor, a portion (such as plasma, leukocytes, or platelets) is separated and retained, and the remainder is retransfused into the donor. Types include erythrocytapheresis, leukapheresis, lymphocytapheresis, plasmapheresis, and plateletpheresis.. Called also hemapheresis and pheresis.
therapeutic apheresis separation of whole blood into its major components and removal of the abnormal, pathogenic component. Types include plasma exchange (plasmapheresis), removal of white blood cells (leukapheresis), removal of platelets (thrombocytapheresis), and removal of red blood cells erythrocytapheresis). The process is currently used as measure of last resort when conventional therapies are unsuccessful in controlling a chronic, debilitating, or potentially fatal disease. Its primary purpose is to modify the pathologic process so that other treatments can be more effective. It is not a cure. Plasmapheresis may be used in treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, myasthenia gravis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and some malignancies, in which plasma constituents can interfere with the function of the immune system. Other diseases for which therapeutic apheresis might be used include certain blood dyscrasias such as thrombocytosis, polycythemia vera, and sickle cell anemia.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


(hē′mə-fĕr′ə-sĭs, hĕm′ə-)
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


Apheresis Transfusion medicine Removal of whole blood from a Pt or donor, followed by separation into components, some of which are removed; the rest is returned to the Pt Indications See Cytapheresis, Hemodialysis, Leukapheresis, Plasmapheresis.
Hemapheresis, therapeutic indications
• Leukocytes in hyperleukemic leukostasis with > 100 x 109/L blasts
• Platelets in thrombocytosis with > 1000 x 109/L platelets, if symptomatic
• Defective RBCs, replacing them with normal RBCs, as in sickle cell anemia with crisis
• Igs causing hyperviscosity syndrome in macroglobulinemia/multiple myeloma
• Autoantibody production in myasthenia gravis, Goodpasture syndrome, SLE, factor VIII antibodies and
• Lipoproteins in Pts with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


Laboratory procedure of separating blood into its component parts and removing cells from the blood to treat hematologic, oncologic, and neurologic disorders.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012