Therapeutic plasma exchange for multiorgan dysfunction among critically ill pediatric patients with leukemia: A single-institutional experience.

Document Type


Publication Date



DOI: 10.1002/jca.21983


INTRODUCTION: Therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) has well-documented applications in the adult population, outlined by the American Society for Apheresis (ASFA) 2019 guidelines. Limited data exist regarding the use of TPE in critically ill pediatric patients; however, these reports rarely include patients with oncological diseases.

METHODS: We highlight the use of TPE in the acute management of seven pediatric patients with leukemia treated at Children's Mercy Hospital ICU from 2015 to 2020, including TPE specifications, baseline and interval laboratory evaluation, and outcome measures. Analysis compared those who did (n = 4) and did not (n = 3) survive 30 days post-TPE.

RESULTS: Multiorgan failure (MOF) prompted the initiation of TPE in 85.7% of patients, 57.1% of whom were also diagnosed with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). Baseline laboratory evaluations prior to initiation of TPE were similar between the two groups. With subsequent TPE treatments, C-reactive protein (CRP) and lactic acid decreased. CRP and lactic acid following the last TPE treatment were significantly higher for those deceased 30 days post-TPE (P = .023 and .031, respectively). No TPE-associated adverse events necessitated discontinuation of TPE treatment. Several surviving patients required chemotherapy dose reductions or alterations.

CONCLUSION: Our cohort demonstrated MOF and HLH consistently as indications for TPE, currently ASFA category III indications (optimal role of apheresis is not yet established). Recognition of this treatment modality earlier in the clinical course for critically ill oncological patients may lead to the development of formal protocols that may result in earlier initiation of TPE and improved outcomes.

Journal Title

J Clin Apher





First Page


Last Page


MeSH Keywords

Adult; Blood Component Removal; Child; Critical Illness; Humans; Lactic Acid; Leukemia; Multiple Organ Failure; Plasma Exchange; Retrospective Studies


HLH; MOF; apheresis; leukemia; sepsis

Library Record