What is plasma exchange?
Patients participating in the AMBAR clinical trial were treated with periodic plasma exchange: a safe, well-known therapy based on the plasmapheresis technique.
In Therapeutic Plasma Exchange (TPE), blood is taken from the patient's arm through a tube connected to the exchange machine. In this machine, the blood is separated into its various parts: plasma and cellular components. The plasma is replaced with a fluid – albumin in most cases– which is added to the remaining blood cells. This new solution is injected back to the patient.
TPE is not painful so it does not require anesthesia. The therapy is usually given in hospitals or at an outpatient center and is currently used to treat a range of blood, neurological and autoimmune diseases.