Photopheresis

Also known as: extracorporeal photoimmunotherapy.

What is photopheresis?

Photopheresis is a medical procedure that can treat graft versus host disease. It involves suppressing the immune system to prevent it from reacting adversely on the skin. 
 

What happens during the procedure?

A catheter is used to draw blood from the body and pass it through a special machine. The machine removes the lymphocytes from the blood, treats them and returns them to the blood. Then the blood is returned to the body through a catheter. The treatment lasts 3 to 4 hours and may require a few sessions to achieve the desired results. 
 

Is any special preparation needed?

No special preparation is needed for photopheresis. 
 

What are the risk factors?

Dizziness, lightheadedness, a tingling sensation, cramping or low blood pressure are potential side effects of photopheresis.

Reviewed by: Balagangadhar Totapally, MD

This page was last updated on: 6/21/2019 1:27:13 AM