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Scand J Infect Dis. 1993;25(6):757-61.

Plasmapheresis in the treatment of primary septic shock in humans.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Danderyd Hospital, Sweden.


14 patients (mean age 25.5 yrs) with life-threatening primary septic shock were eligible for treatment with acute plasmapheresis in a prospective study. They had a short history of sepsis and had no severe underlying disease. 10/14 patients had systemic meningococcal disease. All patients were severely ill with a mean APACHE II score of 25.0. 12/14 patients were treated with plasmapheresis exchanging 1 plasma volume within hours of admission. 11/14 patients survived without major sequelae and 3 (21%) died of irreversible septic shock. This mortality is lower than that predicted from the APACHE II scores (55.2%). A subgroup of plasmapheresis-treated patients with septic shock and extensive petechiae were compared to a historical control group. The mortality in the treatment group was 1/7 (14%) versus 8/21 (38%) in the control group. We conclude that acute plasmapheresis may be a therapeutic option in the early stages of severe primary non-surgical septic shock.

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