Therapeutic plasma exchange in patients suffering from thrombotic microangiopathy after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation

T. Bosch, R. Buhmann, A. Lennertz, W. Samtleben, H. J. Kolb

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11 Scopus citations


Thrombotic microangiopathy (TM) is a potentially fatal complication of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT). The underlying pathophysiology is thought to be generalized endothelial cell damage caused by several factors including conditioning treatment, cyclosporin A (CsA,) or graft versus host disease (GVHD). In the present retrospective study, 6 patients suffering from Grade 2 BMT-TM at a mean of 62 days post BMT were treated by 3-15 daily sessions of therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE). In most sessions, cryosupernatant (CSN) of plasma, in some fresh frozen plasma (FFP) was used as the substitution fluid. All patients suffered from acute graft versus host disease (aGVHD) of the skin, which was treated by CsA. CsA was withdrawn in all patients. TPE caused a response in 4 of 6 patients evidenced by a decrease to Grade 0 (n = 3) or 1 (n = 1) BMT-TM. Only 1 patient had mild renal insufficiency which did not improve during TPE. While all patients were dependent on platelet transfusions at baseline, the platelet counts improved in 2 of 6 patients after the TPE course. One patient did not show any response to TPE with FFP, and his disease improved only after CSN was introduced as substitution fluid (Grade 0). Four patients were still alive 175-495 days post BMT, and 2 patients died about 2-3 weeks after the end of the TPE course, 1 from cachexia and 1 from systemic aspergillosis. In summary, in this pilot study, TPE positively influenced BMT-TM, especially if CSN was used as the substitution fluid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-256
Number of pages5
JournalTherapeutic Apheresis
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone marrow transplant thrombotic microangiopathy
  • Bone marrow transplantation
  • Cryosupernatant
  • Therapeutic plasma exchange
  • Thrombotic microangiopathy


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