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
Learn more about
Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
Acute myeloid leukemia is a leukemia that starts in the bone marrow (the tissue inside the bone where blood is made) and results in the creation of immature white blood cells.
Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia
JMML is a rare, serious chronic form of cancer of the blood in children (frequently boys), aged less than 4 years.
Apheresis Therapy: Therapeutic Plasma Exchange
Therapeutic plasma exchange involves removing problematic plasma from the blood.