Plasma exchange in patients with ANCA-associated vasculitis.
ANCA-associated Vasculitides (AAV) are characterized by small vessel necrotizing inflammation and can present with multisystem organ involvement, including organ/life threatening manifestations of rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis and diffuse alveolar haemorrhage, where immediate and aggressive intervention is needed to prevent further organ damage. Although, the rationale of plasma exchange (PLEX) in AAV is strong, through removing the pathogenic ANCAs; target either myeloperoxidase (MPO) or proteinase 3 (PR3), and other inflammatory molecules, especially in the initiation when the immunosuppressive treatment is no sufficient to prevent the organ damage, overall impact on patient outcomes is not well-established, while the risk of infections seems to be higher in the PLEX-treated patients. A comprehensive overview of the challenges and uncertainties surrounding the use of PLEX in the management of AAV will be reviewed, providing the current practice recommendations guiding treatment decisions.
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