New Therapeutic Areas

Therapeutic apheresis includes different types of extracorporeal removal of harmful substances or therapeutically effective components from blood or blood plasma. Today, new treatment methods based on blood filtration enable new therapies for a broad spectrum of patients and indications.

One example is LDL apheresis, which eliminates the cholesterol-containing particle low-density lipoprotein (LDL) from the bloodstream in patients with familial hypercholeseteraemia. LDL-cholesterol, the so called "bad cholesterol", plays a role in the development of arteriosclerosis and increases the risk of coronary diseases, heart attack, an even death. When traditional lipid-lowering treatments may not help to lower the elevated LDL-cholesterol to the goal, LDL apheresis becomes a feasible and effective option.

There are several other diseases and immunological disorders which can be treated extracorporally with our membranes.

Extracorporeal Therapeutic Plasmapheresis

Plasma separation or apheresis is a medical procedure, in which harmful plasma components are removed by fractionation, filtration, or adsorption.

Plasma separation essentially means the removal of a plasma fraction from the rest of the blood. Plasma accounts for approximately 55% in the human blood, the remaining 45% is made up of blood cells (platelets, erythrocytes, leucocytes, etc.). Plasma consists of water, proteins, nutrients, hormones, minerals, and other substances and transports albumin and other proteins with vital functions. The removed volume can be replaced by donor plasma.

As this procedure eliminates the harmful substances in the blood plasma together with all other constituents, it is called non-selective plasma separation.

Selective plasma separation is a special type of apheresis, in which the plasma obtained during separation is treated further, cleaned from pathogenic substances, and returned to the patient. This procedure can be specifically targeted at a particular substance.

Methods to clean the plasma can employ one or even more further filtration steps (cascade filtration) or the adsorption, precipitation, or other (chemical) removal of harmful substances.

Full Blood Apheresis

A direct removal of harmful substances or cellular elements from the blood is termed full-blood apheresis.

The procedures of haemofiltration and full blood apheresis are very similar.

Technically, the differences are the composition of the substitution solution and the pore size of the membrane employed. In plasma separation almost all plasma components, in particular larger proteins, can pass through, whereas the pores of haemofiltration membranes are much smaller, and thus larger proteins are retained.

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