• 1 Department of Neurology, Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
BMJ Neurol Open, 2020;2(1):e000020.
PMID: 33681775 DOI: 10.1136/bmjno-2019-000020


Introduction: Therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) for semi-critical neurological manifestations can be managed in non-acute setting instead of critical care unit. In 2014, we established a non-acute neurology TPE unit for semi-critical haemodynamically stable patients. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the technical and safety parameters from the first 3 years of service.

Materials and methods: We analysed prospectively collected TPE data for patients treated with centrifugation TPE at our non-acute neurology TPE unit in Kuala Lumpur Hospital between May 2015 and June 2018.

Results: A total of 245 TPE procedures were performed in 55 patients for nine neurological indications, predominantly the central nervous system (79%). Twenty four per cent (n=13) had category I and 73% (n=40) had category II indication (American Society for Apheresis (ASFA) 2019). Others (4%) were not in ASFA indications. Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders accounted for half (51%) of the total patients. Twenty-three (41.8%) patients experienced adverse events, with hypotensive episodes being the the most common (n=12/55, 21.8%). Five (9.1%) patients had catheter-related blood stream infection, correlating with higher exchange plasma volume (p=0.023). Symptomatic hypocalcaemia was less common (n=5/55, 9.1%) and allergic reaction to human albumin was rare (n=1/55, 1.8%). Four technical errors detected. Three involved centrifugation sets manufacturing defects and one involved error in centrifugation set installation. Seven (2.9%) procedures were terminated: 5 for adverse effects and 2 for technical errors.

Conclusion: Performing TPE among semi-critical patients with neurology manifestations in basic non-acute set-up proved safe, with predictable complications. This set-up reduced the reliance on critical care services for TPE procedures.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

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