Plasma Exchange for Myasthenia Gravis | MGteam

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Plasma exchange, also known as plasmapheresis, is used to treat various blood disorders, neurologic disorders, blood cancers, and autoimmune disorders, such as myasthenia gravis.

Plasma exchange is believed to treat myasthenia gravis by removing harmful antibodies that disrupt the function of the neuromuscular junction (the point where nerves meet muscles). Getting rid of these antibodies helps restore normal activity at the neuromuscular junction and increase muscle strength.

What does it involve?
Plasma exchange is a painless procedure usually lasting one to three hours. Plasma exchange involves replacing the plasma, or liquid, part of the blood with either albumin (a liquid protein made in the human body) or plasma from a donor. Only the plasma is removed; your red and white blood cells are combined with the replacement plasma and returned to your body. This procedure is typically done in a specialized clinical setting, such as a hospital or outpatient facility.

Your doctor can determine if plasma exchange might help you and how often you may need it.

Side effects
Common side effects from plasma exchange include a change in heart rate or blood pressure, sweating, feeling faint, dizziness, feeling cold, abdominal cramps, and tingling in the mouth, eyes, fingers, or toes.

Less common but potentially severe side effects can include bleeding caused by the removal of clotting factors or potential allergic reactions like itching, wheezing, and a rash from the solutions used in the procedure. Vascular access devices placed for plasma exchange might lead to infection or clotting, often requiring the device to be removed.

For more details about this treatment, visit:

Therapeutic Plasma Exchange (TPE) — Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America

Myasthenia Gravis — Muscular Dystrophy Association

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