A procedure where blood is separated into its component parts and the desired components are removed from the blood.

Types of apheresis:

  • Plasmapheresis (blood plasma is isolated)
  • Plateletpheresis (platelets or thrombocytes are isolated)
  • Leukopheresis (white blood cells are isolated)

This procedure may be used to:

  • remove toxins
  • remove autoantibodies (antibodies against the body’s own tissues) 
  • may be used to collect certain blood cells (such as thrombocytes)

An example of apheresis is plasma donation (as opposed to whole blood donation)

Chabner, Davi-Ellen. 2007. The Language of Medicine. 8th ed. Saunders Elsevier, Missouri


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