The AAN published a new guideline on plasmapheresis in neurologic disorders in the January 18, 2011, issue of Neurology®. The guideline on the role that plasmapheresis, or plasma exchange (PE), can play in treating certain diseases will be of particular interest to neurologists specializing in child neurology, multiple sclerosis (MS), and neuromuscular disorders.
New research shows there is weak evidence that PE may help treat some inflammatory central nervous system disorders when high-dose steroid treatments have failed. The guideline authors found strong evidence that shows PE should not be used in progressive forms of MS (chronic progressive and secondary progressive MS).
On the other hand, good evidence shows PE can be used as adjunctive therapy to help treat severe acute relapses in relapsing forms of MS. There also is strong evidence for treating severe forms of some acute neuropathies (acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, also known as Guillain-Barré syndrome) and other immune-mediated neuropathies. The update confirms many of the original guideline's findings.
Read the guideline and access summaries: