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Keywords:

  • RH immunization;
  • plasma exchange;
  • immunosuppression

ABSTRACT: Pharmacologic immunosuppression and plasmapheresis have both been advocated as adjunctive methods of treatment for Rh immunization, but a combined regimen of the two has not been attempted. We treated four nonpregnant, severely Rh-sensitized female volunteers with intensive plasma exchange and either promethazine 150 mg or prednisone 60 mg per day in an attempt to remove circulating anti-Rho(D) and prevent further synthesis of the antibody. Each patient received three or four exchanges. The Rho(D) antibody titer decreased by at least one dilution immediately following 11 of 14 plasma exchanges and was ultimately lowered at least two dilutions in all patients. In one case the titer was reduced from 1:512 to 1:16, and a low titer was maintained for the duration of treatment. However, this regimen could increase the risk of infection for a mother and/or infant, as evidenced by the concomitant lowering of viral and bacterial antibody titers in these women.