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J Clin Apher. 1987;3(4):202-8.

Effects of plasmapheresis on peripheral blood mononuclear cell populations from patients with macroglobulinemia.

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Sutter Medical Research Foundation, Sutter Community Cancer Center, University of California, Davis Medical Center 95819.


Effects of plasmapheresis on peripheral blood T-cell, B-cell, monocyte, and natural-killer-cell populations were studied in ten macroglobulinemia patients with hyperviscosity syndrome. Following plasmapheresis, there was a transient decrease in the number of T4+ helper cells and a longer-lasting decrease in the number of Leu-7+ natural killer cells and Mo2+ monocytes. In addition, there was a greater than 50% decrease in the in vitro ingestion capacity of monocytes. Although no significant changes in the numbers of IgM+, B1+, B4+, or PCA+ B cells (P greater than .05) were detected, there was a highly significant (P less than .01) increase in I2 antigen density on the surface of IgM+ B cells and in the bromodeoxyuridine uptake by these cells 7-9 days after plasmapheresis. These findings suggest that following plasmapheresis, IgM+ B cells are activated. Using flow cytometry to determine when maximum IgM+ B cell activation occurs by measuring I2 antigen density on the cell surface may be useful in determining the postplasmapheresis timing of chemotherapy in macroglobulinemia patients with hyperviscosity syndrome who require more aggressive treatment.

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