In the case of some diseases or poisoning substances contained in the blood, which can cause damage. By means of the apheresis process, the blood plasma of these substances by the blood is passed through a device outside the body. The term apheresis refers to General medical procedures, the therapy effect on the removal of constituents of blood. The removal of these components takes place outside the body in a so-called extracorporeal circulation. The Patient is connected to an apheresis device.
The best known Form of apheresis, which is also called hemodialysis, is the dialysis. In the case of a number of diseases specific blood can be targeted methods for cleaning substances from the circulatory system to remove and as a result, the disease happen to have a positive influence. Among the most well-known method, the blood washing dialysis, which takes over as the so-called renal replacement procedure in the case of a disorder of the kidneys, their function and toxic substances.
How does the apheresis?
Less well-known than the dialysis, therapeutic apheresis, at the outside of the body (extracorporeally) pathological proteins, Einweiße-bound sick, the end of substances or cells be removed. This can be done either with the help of a Filter (membrane plasma separator), or with a centrifuge. In principle, two approaches are ways of differences:
- In the apheresis unit of the blood, separated the plasma from the blood cells (plasma separation), and only in the second step, the Plasma of the pathogenic substances to be cleaned. This blood wash, in turn, can be done in several ways:
- Equipment, plasma exchange (plasmapheresis): Here is the whole of the recovered patients is discarded plasma and by a special nutrient solution replaced.
- Selective plasma exchange: Here, only the special removes disease – causing proteins (e.g., autoimmune diseases) with filters or other methods, the rest of the Plasma, the Patient receives back.
- Second way: On the separation of blood plasma from the blood cells, but the pathogenic substances are removed in the apheresis device directly from the whole blood by means of activated carbon or exchange resin (whole blood, apheresis). This method is also referred to as Hemoperfusion.
The person Concerned shall, in all cases, the two additions in the rule over the venous – access the blood is taken, then, by the apheresis device and after cleaning and, if necessary, the addition of replacement fluid through the other vein. An apheresis requires the close cooperation of the physician who treats the underlying disease, with the one who leads the apheresis. Apheresis treatments are on an outpatient basis, but in special centers. Currently, there are about 100 apheresis centers in the Federal Republic of Germany, in the v. a. treatment of fat metabolism diseases.