About Therapeutic Apheresis Therapy

About Therapeutic Apheresis (Blood Purification)

The term “therapeutic apheresis” refers to therapies that purify the blood by removing substances that impair normal blood function and cause disease. Basically, this involves circulating the blood outside the body through an apparatus that uses membrane separation and adsorption separation technologies to remove harmful substances causing particular diseases and conditions. The purified blood is then returned to the body.

One characteristic of therapeutic apheresis is that it can be used to treat a wide range of conditions including autoimmune disorders, neurological disorders and lipid abnormalities. It holds great promise as a treatment of intractable diseases without effective therapies and in cases where exposure to drugs must be restricted because of side effects. Preventive medicine is another area where apheresis has potential.

Depending on the disease or condition, the particular substances removed and the details of the procedure will vary, but all forms of therapeutic apheresis treat disease by removing some substances from the blood. Here, we introduce the major types of therapeutic apheresis. See below for the indicated conditions for each type of therapy.

* Conceptual diagram of treatment
** Availability of ascites filters and ascites concentration columns for CART (Cell-free and Concentrated Ascites Reinfusion Therapy) is currently limited to Japan.

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