Effectiveness of Plasmapheresis Treatment in the Treatment of Patients with COVID-19 Disease

Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 management focuses primarily on infection prevention, case management, case monitoring, and supportive care. However, due to the lack of evidence, no specific anti-SARS-CoV-2 treatment is recommended. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of plasmapheresis treatment in COVID-19 patients with symptoms of pulmonary involvement on the computed tomography (CT) of the lung.  


In 2021, an experimental study in critically ill patients admitted to the COVID-19 ward in the Hazrat-e Rasool hospital diagnosed with COVID-19 was conducted in the second phase (pilot study). The diagnosis was confirmed according to clinical signs, CT scan of the lung, and the Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. All patients received the usual treatments for COVID-19 disease and underwent plasmapheresis at a dose of 40 cc/kg daily up to 4 doses. All patients were observed for 24 hours for complications of plasmapheresis treatment and simultaneously for symptoms of COVID-19, after which only routine care measures were performed. The next day and 2 weeks after resumption of the treatment, patients experienced COVID-19 symptoms, including shortness of breath, cough, and fever. Blood oxygen saturation, and treatment results were evaluated. Qualitative and rank variables were described using absolute and relative frequencies and quantitative parametric variables were used using mean and confidence interval. Frequencies were compared in groups using the chi-square test. All tests were performed in 2 directions and P ˃ 0.05 was considered statistically significant.   


Of the 120 patients studied, 79 (65.8%) were men and 41 (34.2%) were women. The mean age was 60.30 ± 15.61 years (22-95 years). The mean hospital stay was 12.89 days ± 7.25 days (2-38 days). Increased blood oxygen saturation levels in patients had an increasing trend. Inflammatory indices had a downward trend in patients. The frequency of plasmapheresis had no significant effect on reducing the downward trend of inflammatory markers. The greatest reduction occurred in the first plasmapheresis.  


Finally, according to the findings, plasmapheresis is one of the appropriate treatments to improve patients' symptoms and reduce cytokine storm. Recovered patients had lower levels of inflammatory markers than those who died.

Medical Journal Of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Volume:36 Issue: 1, Winter 2022
621 to 627
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