Apheresis to Mitigate Atherosclerotic Vascular Disease.
BACKGROUND: Therapeutic apheresis is a term used to describe a group of treatments where blood components are separated in real time, and one component is removed, exchanged, and/or treated to remove pathogenic substances from the circulation. Plasma exchange, which removed all plasma components, and lipid apheresis which selectively removes lipoproteins from circulation, have both been used to treat atherosclerotic vascular diseases. METHODS: To review the literature regarding the application of therapeutic apheresis for atherosclerotic vascular diseases. RESULTS: Primarily lipid apheresis is used to treat atherosclerotic vascular diseases, particularly familial hypercholesterolemia, lipoprotein (a) hyperlipoproteinemia and peripheral vascular diseases. Lipid apheresis can be used as first line or second line treatment with a strong evidenced-based recommendation. Its use has decreased atherosclerotic events. CONCLUSION: Lipid apheresis is an important therapy for the treatment of familial hypercholesterolemia, lipoprotein (a) hyperlipoproteinemia and peripheral vascular diseases. Lipid apheresis does more than remove low-density lipoproteins and other lipoproteins but also decreases inflammatory markers and improves blood flow.
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