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May 10, 1976

Safety of Weekly Plasmapheresis

Author Affiliations

University of Iowa Iowa City

JAMA. 1976;235(19):2079-2080. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260450011006

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To the Editor.—  We are writing concerning the response given to the question asked by Dr Seaton and answered by Dr Perkins (234:760, 1975). The question inquired about the effects on the health of plasmapheresis donors who give at weekly intervals for long periods of time, specifically the effects on serum protein concentration. In his reply, Dr Perkins cited an article (Blood 23:647, 1964) that concluded that serum protein concentration remained essentially normal during weekly plasmapheresis programs. The serum protein concentrations were determined by electrophoresis.Our donor-center experience and a recently published article (Transfusion 15:467, 1975) indicate that the picture is somewhat more complex. Often, the total protein level may be normal when γ-globulin levels by electrophoresis are quite often low-normal or even below accepted normal adult standards. By doing quantitative immunoglobulin determinations on these donors with low-normal or subnormal levels of γ-globulins, we quite often find depressed levels of