Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 389-394

Plasma exchange as a first line therapy in acute attacks of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders

Department of Neurology, SMS Medical College, Jaipur, Rajeshthan, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Reenu Choudhary
Department of Neurology, A-249, Saraswati Nagar, Basni, Jodhpur - 342 005, Rajasthan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aian.AIAN_365_19

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Background and Aims: Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) is a demyelinating disorder of central nervous system with deleterious effects. At present Intravenous corticosteroids are used for the relapse as the first line of treatment, but with only a class evidence III-IV. Having an underlying humoral immune mechanism in the pathogenesis of NMOSD and as it is rightly said that “Time is Cord and Eyes”, delaying the time to start plasma exchange (PLEX) awaiting favorable outcome in response to corticosteroids is detrimental for the patient. Hence, PLEX may be a promising first line therapeutic approach in the management of severe attacks of NMOSD. The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of PLEX as the first line of treatment for the acute attacks in patients with NMOSD that is being largely used as an add-on therapy for more than 10 years, and also to define the time opportunity window for the starting of PLEX. Methods: The study analysed the therapeutic efficacy and safety profile of PLEX as a first line therapy in 30 patients diagnosed with NMOSD over a period of 30 months. PLEX was performed using a Hemonetics Mobile Collection System plus machine with due written consent including the risks and benefits of the treatment that is being proposed to the patient/relative in their own language. Results: A total of 30 patients were analysed, out of which 16 were females and rest males. 85% of the patients were in the age group of 25-35 years. All the patients had severe Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores at the baseline, and 73.33% showed significant improvement following PLEX. The only predictor of good outcome was the time to PLEX i.e shorter delay betters the outcome. Conclusion: The study ascertained the importance of early PLEX as a therapeutic intervention in severe attacks of NMOSD irrespective of their Anti-Aquaporin 4 (AQP4) antibody status.

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