Therapeutic plasma exchange in neuromyelitis optica: A case series

Journal of Clinical Apheresis - 2013-10-17Morgan SM, Zantek ND, Carpenter A10.1002/jca.21304
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a relapsing inflammatory disease of the central nervous system that predominantly affects the spinal cord and optic nerves. The clinical hallmark of the disease is a step-wise deterioration of visual and spinal cord function. This study reviews patients with steroid resistant relapsing NMO presenting for therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) at our institution from December 2005 to December 2012. A total of five patients were treated with single volume TPE. Both subjective and objective clinical response to TPE was estimated by three different sources (the patient, a Transfusion Medicine physician, and the treating Neurologist) with the patient and Transfusion Medicine physician's final assessment of response made at the time of the last TPE in the series and the treating neurologist's assessment of response made at the time of the next neurological exam after the last TPE. A total of 17 TPE series were performed with the average course of therapy being three series (ranged 1-5) with five TPE (ranged 3-7) per series. All patients demonstrated improvement with each series of TPE and all procedures were well tolerated with only transient and well-described reactions all of which were successfully resolved with minor or no sequelae.