Plasma exchange is a highly efficient technique to remove circulating autoantibodies and other humoral factors rapidly from the vascular compartment. It was the first effective acute treatment for peripheral disorders such as Guillain-Barré syndrome and myasthenia gravis before intravenous immunoglobulin became available. The recent recognition of rapidly progressive severe antibody-mediated central nervous system disorders, such as neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders and anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate-receptor encephalitis, has renewed interest in using plasma exchange for their acute treatment also. In this review we explain the principles and technical aspects of plasma exchange, review its current indications, and discuss the implications for its provision in the UK.
- evidence-based neurology
- clinical neurology
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