Research Article

Haemorrheological response to plasma exchange in Raynaud's syndrome.

Br Med J 1979; 2 doi: (Published 10 November 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;2:1186
  1. A J Dodds,
  2. M J O'Reilly,
  3. C J Yates,
  4. L T Cotton,
  5. P T Flute,
  6. J A Dormandy


    Eight patients with Raynaud's syndrome were treated by weekly plasma exchange for four weeks using a Haemonetics Model 30 Blood Processor. The mean whole-blood viscosity at a shear rate of 0.77/s was significantly lower after treatment, and the mean index of red-cell deformability was significantly improved. In four patients studied serially the mean percentage fall in whole-blood viscosity after a single plasma exchange was 49% at 0.77/s but only 14% at 91/s. All patients noticed symptomatic improvement including healing of ischaemic digital ulcers. In six patients the number of digital arterial segments containing detectable blood flow was measured by directional Doppler; in all six the number increased. It is concluded that plasma exchange is an effective means of haemorrheological treatment and may be beneficial in patients with digital ischaemia.