Leukapheresis comes from Leuk+apheresis. Apheresis is the general term for separating out one particular constituent of blood and returning the remainder to the circulation. Leukapheresis is a laboratory procedure in which white blood cells are separated from a sample of blood.
- To decrease a very high white blood cell count [Hematological malignancies]
- Obtain patients white blood cells for later transplant back into the patient
- Obtain cells for research purposes
- Obtain the patient’s own blood cells for later transplant
- For removing white blood cells for protection before high-dose chemotherapy [Cells are then transfused back into the patient after chemotherapy]
- For obtaining cells for processing them to stimulate a patient’s immune system [ as in immunotherapy treatment for prostate cancer]
- Removal of granulocytes, macrophages, and monocytes as a treatment for autoimmune diseases such as ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Overview of Procedure
Blood is drawn from one arm with the help of a catheter that is placed in one of the veins.
For further information about various types of blood samples and how to draw and process a blood sample, refer to the following articles:
Following removal, the blood is placed in the centrifuge machine.
The centrifuge spins the blood and separates it into various components making. As a result, the blood can be separated into red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
The white blood cells are removed and the rest of the cells and the rest is returned to the body through another catheter.
Leukapheresis usually takes about two to four hours.
For Further Knowledge
An apharesis machine simulation