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Ther Apher Dial. 2019 Jun;23(3):253-260. doi: 10.1111/1744-9987.12830.

Plasma Exchange Is Highly Effective for Anti-Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-Associated Vasculitis Patients With Rapidly Progressive Glomerulonephritis Who Have Advanced to Dialysis Dependence: A Single-Center Case Series.

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Department of Nephrology and Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.


Plasma exchange (PEX) can be an effective treatment in anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis with severe renal damage; however, it is still controversial. Among cases of newly diagnosed AAV with rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis at our department from 2008 onward, 11 patients who received PEX (seven cases for severe renal damage [R-PEX] and four cases for lung hemorrhage [L-PEX]) were retrospectively analyzed. All cases of R-PEX were dependent on hemodialysis at the beginning of PEX and all received seven sessions of PEX (50 mL/kg or 1.3 plasma volume per exchange) within 2 weeks. All cases became dialysis-independent within 8 weeks, with 3- and 12-month cumulative renal survival rates of 100% and 80%, respectively. All cases of L-PEX retained their renal function. In rapidly developing, newly dialysis-dependent antibody-associated vasculitis with rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis patients with normal renal function before disease onset, standard PEX can be expected to induce sufficient renal recovery to establish dialysis independence.


Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis; Dialysis-dependent; Plasma exchange; Rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis; Renal recovery


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