The purpose of this document is to provide background information for clinicians and patients who have reviewed the research literature on the use of therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) to treat systemic sclerosis (SSc) and made the determination that this may be an appropriate treatment option. Currently, the American Society for Apheresis Guidelines suggest that clinicians should make individual decisions on the suitability of TPE as a treatment for their patients with SSc. If clinicians do decide to try TPE on an individual basis, it is important that they also try to extract as much useful research data as possible from any such individual trials. This document includes a suggested protocol for clinicians to consider as well as suggested pre-treatment, during- treatment, and post-treatment testing to allow objective assessment of systemic changes that my occur as a result of the treatment. It is our hope that data from these individual trials can provide important information that will allow us to better design future clinical trials of TPE as a treatment option for systemic scleroderma.
This document is available in both US and A4 formats:
Note: A companion document for patients titled “Therapeutic Plasma Exchange: A Guide for Newbies” is in final internal review and will be published shortly.