Definition of plasmapheresis in US English:



  • A method of removing blood plasma from the body by withdrawing blood, separating it into plasma and cells, and transfusing the cells back into the bloodstream. It is performed especially to remove antibodies in treating autoimmune conditions.

    • ‘Many treatments have been used for Graves' orbitopathy, including corticosteroids, cyclosporine, surgery, plasmapheresis and radiotherapy, but the optimal therapy for individual patients has not been determined.’
    • ‘She was treated with plasmapheresis and platelet transfusions.’
    • ‘Twelve hours after surgery, plasmapheresis was performed in the burn intensive care unit.’
    • ‘Patients treated early with plasmapheresis required less mechanical ventilation, and hospitalization time was decreased.’
    • ‘If fresh frozen plasma is not the replacement fluid, it is essential to monitor patients for signs and symptoms of coagulopathy because plasma, some white blood cells, and platelets are removed during plasmapheresis.’


1920s: from plasma + Greek aphairesis ‘taking away’ (from apo- ‘from’ + hairein ‘take’).