Importance: Neuromyelitis optica/neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder patients' response to therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) is currently incompletely characterized. Objective: Our study aims to understand the clinical status improvement of neuromyelitis optica/neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder patients treated with TPE. Design, Setting, and Participants: This is a multicenter retrospective study conducted between 1 January 2003 and 31 July 2017 at 13 US hospitals performing apheresis procedures. Subjects studied were diagnosed with neuromyelitis optica/neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder who received TPE during presentation with acute disease. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was clinical status improvement in patients treated with TPE. Secondary measures were procedural and patient characteristics associated with response to treatment. Results: We evaluated 114 patients from 13 institutions. There was a female predilection. The largest ethnic group affected was non-Hispanic Caucasian. The average age of diagnosis was 43.1 years. The average time to diagnosis was 3.1 years. On average, five procedures were performed during each treatment series. The most commonly performed plasma volume exchange was 1.0 to 1.25 using 5% albumin as replacement fluid. Most patients (52%) did not require an additional course of TPE and noted “mild” to “moderate” clinical status improvement. Maximal symptom improvement appeared by the fourth or fifth TPE treatment. Conclusion and Relevance: TPE improved the clinical status of patients. Adults responded more favorably than children. Procedural characteristics, including number of TPEs, plasma volume exchanged, and replacement fluid used, were similar between institutions. TPE was well-tolerated and had a low severe adverse event profile.
- clinical status improvement
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