Seeing is believing: A review of apheresis therapy in the treatment of ophthalmologic disease
Apheresis procedures have a role in treatment of disparate diseases involving many different organ systems. Often the disease processes where apheresis plays a role in treatment are considered “orphan diseases”—relatively rare disease processes that lack specific pharmaceutical agents or established treatment protocols. Many of these disease processes can affect the eye with devastating results for the eyesight of these patients. The unique ability of apheresis to affect disease by modifying blood plasma and modulating disease-causing agents therein renders apheresis procedures valuable tools in the treatment of certain ophthalmologic diseases. This review comprehensively evaluates the role of apheresis in the treatment of ophthalmologic diseases of the eye and surrounding orbit including age-related macular degeneration, bilateral diffuse uveal melanocytic proliferation, paraneoplastic retinopathy, atopic keratoconjunctivitis, sympathetic ophthalmia, and endocrine-associated ophthalmopathy. Apheresis procedure parameters are provided for the apheresis practitioner based on review of the relevant literature.