Apheresis Therapy: Leukapheresis

Also known as: white blood cell reduction apheresis.

What is leukapheresis?

Apheresis therapy is a medical procedure that involves removal of various components of blood to treat certain medical conditions. Leukapheresis involves removal of a patient’s white blood cells from the circulating blood. It’s often used as a treatment during leukemia if the blood has too many white blood cells.

What happens during the procedure?

A needle or an intravenous and catheter are used to draw blood from the patient. Then the blood is placed in a machine that separates the blood into its different components. The extra white blood cells are directed into a separate bag and are then discarded. The remainder of the blood is placed back into the patient’s body.

Is any special preparation needed?

No special preparation is needed for leukapheresis.

What are the risk factors?

Discomfort and lightheadedness are possible side effects of leukapheresis.


Reviewed by: Balagangadhar Totapally, MD

This page was last updated on: April 06, 2021 10:14 AM

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