Arthritis and Rheumatism vol:26 issue:12 pages:1419-26
The effects of lymphoplasmapheresis on immunologic indices, including T cell subsets, and on clinical parameters of rheumatoid arthritis were evaluated in a controlled double-blind trial. Twenty patients were randomized to receive either 6 lymphoplasmapheresis sessions or a seemingly identical control procedure over a 3-week period. Lymphoplasmapheresis produced significant reduction in serum levels of total lymphocytes, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein, and IgG. These serologic measures returned to baseline 5 weeks after lymphoplasmapheresis. No change in the imbalance of T cell subsets (increased helper/suppressor ratio) was observed. No changes in the serologic measures, except IgA, were observed in the control group. An improvement in some of the clinical parameters was observed in both the lymphoplasmapheresis and control groups. A rebound above baseline values for several parameters was observed in both the lymphoplasmapheresis and the sham apheresis groups.