Therapeutic plasma exchange for the treatment of pediatric renal diseases in 2013
We report on the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of performing therapeutic plasmapheresis (TPE) in parallel with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) to alleviate antibody mediated rejection (AMR) after heart transplantation. Two pediatric and one adult patient presented with severe congestive heart failure and respiratory distress after heart transplantation and required ECMO support. TPE was initiated to treat AMR while patients remained on ECMO. Each patient received three to five procedures either every day or every other day. One equivalent total plasma volume (TPV) was processed for each procedure (patient TPV + ECMO extracorporeal TPV). A total of 13 TPE procedures were performed with 12 procedures completed without complications or adverse events; one procedure was terminated before completion because of cardiac arrhythmia. Anti-HLA antibody titers decreased after TPE in all three patients. Ventricular function improved and ECMO was discontinued in 2 of 3 patients. Performing large volume TPE with a processed volume up to 2.5 times the patient's TPV is well tolerated in both pediatric (< or = 10 kg) and adult patients. TPE in parallel with ECMO is feasible, safe, and may be measurably effective at reducing anti-HLA antibodies and should be considered as part of the treatment for patients with early AMR after heart transplantation.