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February 1985

A Time for Reassessment: Plasmapheresis at Maturity

Arch Neurol. 1985;42(2):114-115. doi:10.1001/archneur.1985.04060020024007

In the June 1984 issue of the Archives, "Controversies in Neurology" turned its attention to plasmapheresis as a therapeutic tool in immune-mediated neurologic diseases.1,2 The exuberance of adolescence has been replaced with the cautious assessment of middle age. In our medical specialty with its modest number of therapeutic tools, the overly optimistic and exaggerated claims made for plasmapheresis produced a rebound of dissatisfaction and pessimism as those unrealistic expectations went unmet. Those unrealistic expectations have been replaced with the recognition that plasmapheresis is a therapeutic tool of very limited risk and clear value. What we have sought are those specific situations in which there is a need for rapid improvement in the patient's condition and the knowledge that predictable benefit will follow from the use of plasmapheresis. Drs Dau and Lisak have presented us with two assessments of what those specific situations may be.1,2

In assessing what seems

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