Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
any procedure in which blood is withdrawn from a donor, a portion (such as plasma, leukocytes, or platelets) is separated and retained, and the remainder is retransfused into the donor.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.
therapeutic apheresisA form of exchange transfusion in which blood is removed from a Pt and fluids returned to the general circulation:
1. Plasma is replaced–plasmapheresis with a volume of albumin or a crystalloid solution.
2. Cells are removed–apheresis, to either prevent or reduce leukostasis (leukapheresis) in the brain and renal arteries, or to reduce thrombotic phenomena (platelet apheresis). Note: In the working parlance, the adjective therapeutic is usually deleted.
McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.