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Therapeutic Plasma Exchange

What is therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE)?

TPE or plasmapheresis is a treatment we can use for patients with thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) or hyperviscosity. TPE treatments draw some of the patient's blood and then separates the plasma. Then either healthy donor plasma or a saline and albumin solution is infused and we return the blood to the patient intravenously. Frequently we begin these treatments while you're in the hospital and then continue them on an outpatient basis.

You will need a special central venous catheter inserted before you begin TPE. The catheter will remain in place until your treatments are complete.

Each treatment typically takes one to four hours. The frequency of treatments depends on your condition.

How should I prepare for plasmapheresis?

  • Please arrange for someone to drive you to your first few treatments.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows easy access to your arms and chest.
  • If you are taking blood pressure medications called ACE inhibitors, please discuss them with your physician.


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    100 E. Idaho St.
    Boise, ID 83712
    (208) 381-2711