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Ther Apher Dial. 2009 Apr;13(2):157-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-9987.2009.00671.x.

Case reports of the use of immunoadsorption or plasma exchange in high-risk pregnancies of women with antiphospholipid syndrome.

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  • 1Rheumatology Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Padua, Padua, Italy. maria.bortolati.1@unipd.it


Conventional treatment of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) pregnancies with aspirin and/or heparin is sometimes unable to counteract maternal and/or fetal complications. In this article we report the cases of two patients who were unresponsive to conventional treatment for APS during their first pregnancy, and who were treated in the following pregnancy with plasma exchange and immunoadsorption respectively, in addition to conventional therapy. Both patients had a history of thrombotic events, a previous pregnancy loss at the 11th week of gestation and the same antiphospholipid antibody profile (lupus anticoagulant activity and high titers of immunoglobulin G (IgG) anti-beta2 glycoprotein I and IgG anticardiolipin antibodies). Patient 1 was treated from the fourth week of her second pregnancy with weekly plasma exchange. Due to fetal growth restriction and oligohydramnios in the 26th week she delivered, by cesarean section, a healthy female infant weighing 730 g who survived. Patient 2 was treated from the seventh week of her second pregnancy with twice a week protein A immunoadsorption. The pregnancy proceeded normally until the 36th week, when, due to slight intrauterine growth restriction, she delivered a healthy baby girl weighing 2375 g by cesarean section. Anti-beta2 glycoprotein I antibody trends were similar during both types of treatment. On the basis of our findings obtained from only two cases it is impossible to define the best aphaeretic treatment of APS high risk pregnancies. Nevertheless, as a whole these data suggest better disease control using the immunoadsorption technique as compared to plasma exchange, despite their apparently similar anti-beta2 glycoprotein I antibody removal capabilities.

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