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Plasma exchange (plasmapheresis) is a procedure done to remove part of a person's blood that may be the cause of a disease. In plasma exchange, whole blood is withdrawn and the liquid portion (plasma) is separated from the red and white blood cells and replaced with a saline and albumin (protein) solution.
Plasma exchange requires access to a large vein. The procedure may be more dangerous if it is performed on older adults or people with heart disease.
Last Revised: October 14, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Colin Chalk, MD, CM, FRCPC - Neurology
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