Plasmaphereis may be helpful for carefully selected patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Patients undergoing plasmapheresis receive immunosuppression, typically with corticosteroids and cyclophosphamide.


Indications for plasmapheresis - both of the following:

(1) disease resistant/refractory to immunosuppressive or alternative therapy

(2) severe, life-threatening disease with one or more of the following:

(2a) diffuse alveolar hemorrhage

(2b) lupus nephritis

(2c) neurolupus or neuropsychiatric lupus

(2d) thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP)

(2e) catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome (CAPS)

(2f) cryoglobulinemia

(2g) hyperviscosity syndrome

(2h) SLE myocarditis


Other complications of SLE may occasionally benefit from plasmapheresis. These include conditions such as diffuse cutaneous vasculitis or the anti-Ro (SSA) syndrome prior to development of congenital complete heart block.


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