Plasma exchange in ANCA-associated vasculitis: the pro position

Andreas Kronbichler, Jae Il Shin, Chia Shi Wang, Wladimir M. Szpirt, Mårten Segelmark, Vladimir Tesar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Plasma exchange (PLEX) is capable of removing significant amounts of circulating antibodies. In anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis, PLEX was reserved for patients with severe presentation forms such as rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis and pulmonary haemorrhage. The Plasma Exchange and Glucocorticoids in Severe ANCA-Associated Vasculitis (PEXIVAS) trial included all comers with a glomerular filtration rate <50 mL/min/1.73 m2 and thus aimed to answer the question of whether PLEX is an option for patients with no relevant kidney function impairment or not. PEXIVAS revealed that after a follow-up of almost 3 years, routine administration of PLEX does not provide an additional benefit to reduce the rate of a composite comprising end-stage kidney disease or death. In the absence of histological parameters, it is tempting to speculate whether PLEX is effective or not in those with a potential for renal recovery. A subset of patients presented with alveolar haemorrhage, and there was a trend towards a better outcome of such cases receiving PLEX. This would be in line with observational studies reporting a recovery of alveolar haemorrhage following extracorporeal treatment. In this PRO part of the debate, we highlight the shortcomings of the PEXIVAS trial and stimulate further research paths, which in our eyes are necessary before abandoning PLEX from the therapeutic armamentarium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-231
Number of pages5
JournalNephrology, dialysis, transplantation : official publication of the European Dialysis and Transplant Association - European Renal Association
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Urology and Nephrology

Free keywords

  • alveolar haemorrhage
  • ANCA
  • extracorporeal therapy
  • plasma exchange
  • renal recovery

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