The Italian Registry for Therapeutic Apheresis. A report from the Apheresis Study Group of the Italian Society of Nephrology


  • Presented at the World Apheresis Association 10th Congress hosted by the American Society for Apheresis at its 25th Annual Meeting, May 5–8, 2004, Miami Beach, Florida.


Many clinical indications and different technical issues have been reported on therapeutic apheresis: much criticism has also been recorded in several instances, mainly due to the lack of large clinical trials to validate collected data. A Registry where all the available data can be organized and analyzed therefore becomes a priority for all the professionals involved in apheresis. The purpose of this report is to describe the data submitted from 1994 to 2004 from 15,285 treatments on 1,477 patients from 44 Centers, including mainly, but not exclusively, Nephrological Units, collected by the Apheresis Study Group of the Italian Society of Nephrology in 15 Italian regions. Plasma exchange accounted for 56.2% of the procedures, and of these 50.4% were performed by filtration. Plasma treatment was used in 40.1% of procedures, namely with Protein A immunoadsorption (14.6%), LDL-Cholesterol dextran sulfate adsorption (9.7%), and semiselective cascade or double filtration (12.6%). Cell apheresis, limited to photopheresis, was used in 0.85% of cases, and whole blood treatment (direct adsorption lipoprotein, and molecular adsorption recirculating system) in 2.7%. The procedures analyzed here account for less than 20% of estimated therapeutic apheresis performed in Italy, according to the national survey of activity performed for year 2000 by the Italian Apheresis Society. Notwithstanding that the data are largely incomplete, they are sufficiently informative for a definite trend: plasma treatment with filtration on fractionation filters and adsorption must be used as often as possible, instead of plasma exchange, thus obtaining the most selective removals. J. Clin. Apheresis © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.