Use of plasma exchange or double filtration plasmapheresis to reduce body burden of polychlorinated biphenyls: A pilot trial

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The aim of the study was to examine whether plasma exchange (PE) or selective double filtration plasmapheresis (DFPP) is able to reduce the internal Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) burden of highly exposed participants of the health effects in high-level exposure to PCB (HELPcB) cohort. HELPcB is a surveillance program for former PCB-exposed workers of a German capacitor recycling company. After comparative evaluation of PE and DFPP in a phase I, DFPP was chosen as method for further treatment. In phase II, five participants underwent DFPP at weekly intervals for the duration of 12 weeks. Six PCB species were selected as indicators and were analyzed in the plasma before and after each treatment and 4 weeks after the last treatment. The PCB levels before and after each DFPP treatment showed a significant reduction in PCB blood levels; however, there was no significant change in PCB levels within the samples collected before each treatment as compared with the samples collected in the following week before treatment. Even the difference between PCB levels at the onset of the study and 4 weeks after the last treatment was not significant. The results of this pilot trial do not encourage further investigations in using therapeutic apheresis to reduce the PCB body burden.

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