Research Article

Erythrapheresis in patients with polycythaemia secondary to hypoxic lung disease.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 286 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.286.6364.511 (Published 12 February 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;286:511
  1. J A Wedzicha,
  2. R M Rudd,
  3. M C Apps,
  4. F E Cotter,
  5. A C Newland,
  6. D W Empey

    Abstract

    Erythrapheresis was performed in 10 patients with polycythaemia secondary to hypoxic lung disease (mean PaO2, 6.8 kPa (51 mm Hg)). The mean packed cell volume decreased from 0.64 to 0.48 in men and from 0.56 to 0.42 in women, with significant decreases in blood viscosity at both high and low shear rates (p less than 0.001). Patients showed significant improvement in six-minute walking distances (p less than 0.001) and in tests of mental alertness (p less than 0.01) compared to control subjects. Visual analogue scales confirmed symptomatic improvement after erythrapheresis. Erythrapheresis significantly improved symptoms, mental function, and work performance in patients with polycythaemia secondary to hypoxic lung disease. The procedure was well tolerated by all patients and no complications occurred.