Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 140-143

Therapeutic efficacy of plasma exchange in neuromyelitis optica

1 Department of Immunohaematology and Blood Transfusion, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India
2 Department of Neurology, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Birinder Singh Paul
Department of Neurology, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aian.AIAN_330_17

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Background: Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease that selectively affects the optic nerves and spinal cord and generally follows a relapsing course. Therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) appears to be effective in patients with central nervous system inflammatory demyelinating disease who do not respond to first-line corticosteroid treatment. Objective: We represent a retrospective review of the use of TPE in the treatment of an acute attack of NMO in five patients who failed to respond to initial immunomodulatory treatment. Materials and Methods: We evaluated the effect of TPE on the degree of recovery from NMO. It was performed using a single volume plasma exchange with intermittent cell separator (Hemonetics Mobile Collection System plus) by femoral or central line access and scheduled preferably on alternate-day intervals from 8 to 10 days. Both subjective and objective clinical response to TPE was estimated, and final assessment of response was made at the time of the last TPE in the series. Results: All patients were severely disabled before the initiation of TPE and they were female; with the mean age of these patients was 52.5 years (range = 36-69 years), the median age of NMO diagnosis was 49.4 years (range = 35–65 years), and the median duration of disease was 2.6 years (range = 0–5 years). Out of five patients, three had a history of bilateral optic neuritis, and all patients were anti-against protein aquaporin-4antibody positive. Totally 24 TPE procedures were performed on five patients, the mean time of start of TPE in the acute attack was 18.6 days. Patients were severely disabled at the initiation of TPE (range = expanded disability status scale 6.5–9), and improvement was observed early in the course of TPE treatment in most patients. Conclusion: The present study provides clinical support for the importance of TPE in refractory acute attack in NMO. However, with new diagnostic technologies and increasing clinical awareness, we may see a more improved ways of TPE in these patients in the future; hence, TPE is more effective modality of treatment as it also removed the antibodies.

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