When is plasma exchange used as a therapy in Guillain-Barre syndrome?

The Bottom Line: Patients who receive PE are typically older, and have higher complication rates including respiratory failure.

Reference: Alshekhlee A, Hussain Z, Sultan B, Katirji B.  Immunotherapy for Guillain-Barré syndrome in the US hospitals. J Clin Neuromuscul Dis. 2008 Sep;10(1):4-10.   

Summary: In this large US cohort, it was discovered that patients in the older population were more likely to be treated with PE than IVIG and those receiving PE or combination therapy were about a decade older than those treated with IVIG alone. In addition, patients treated with PE and combination therapy had more respiratory complications and systemic infections and were more often discharged to skilled nursing or intermediate care facilities.

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