Safety and Tolerability of Long Lasting LDL-apheresis in Familial Hyperlipoproteinemia

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The aim of this work is to arbitrate the incidence of side effects and tolerability of long lasting LDL-apheresis in familial hyperlipoproteinemia. 1200 procedures were performed and the last 463 of them were evaluated. An immunoadsorption method of LDL-apheresis was used (continuous blood cell separator Cobe Spectra; secondary device: automated adsorption-desorption ADA, Medicap; absorption columns: Lipopak). As a whole, 6.26% adverse events were found and subsequently resolved by standard symptomatic therapy. Vaso-vagal reactions (symptoms of neurovegetative lability) were the most common adverse effects, presented as malaise, weakness, slight and short-term drop in blood pressure or other general signs. They were all well controlled by symptomatic therapy. We conclude that LDL-apheresis in the hands of experienced personnel is a safe procedure. An acceptable procedure duration limit, balancing the possibility to achieve a targeted cholesterol level while still maintaining an acceptable patient tolerance, was confirmed to be 4 hours.

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