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Grifols Study Suggests Repeated Plasmapheresis May Reduce "Bad" LDL Cholesterol Levels While Increasing "Good" HDL Cholesterol Levels in Some Individuals
Date:3/14/2012

el known as multi-variable regression to analyze the study data, the researchers estimated that plasmapheresis could reduce the levels of low density lipoproteins (LDL) or "bad" cholesterol by more than 30 mg/dL among individuals with high levels (> 160 mg/dL) or higher than desirable levels (>130 mg/dL), when plasmapheresis procedures are performed two to four days apart.  This effect was more significant in women, in whom cholesterol could be reduced by up to 35 mg/dL.  A similar reduction pattern is estimated to occur in individuals with high total cholesterol levels (>240mg/dL) or higher than desirable levels (>200mg/dL), with the reductions in these cases potentially reaching 45mg/dL and 32 mg/dL, respectively. 

The cholesterol-lowering effects of plasmapheresis appeared to last only as long as the procedure continued at regular intervals, with cholesterol levels gradually returning to baseline following long periods without plasmapheresis.  The same pattern of reductions could be seen, although to a lesser degree, when subsequent plasmapheresis procedures were performed more than 10 days apart.  Among individuals with normal baseline cholesterol levels, the study results suggested that plasmapheresis would not cause significant changes.  The study results also suggest that plasmapheresis could increase the levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) or "good" cholesterol in individuals who presented low baseline levels of HDL cholesterol.  

Study Design
The multi-center longitudinal study was conducted in 9 plasma donor centers in the U.S., with blood analyses performed prior to plasma donations to measure initial levels of total cholesterol, HDL (high density lipoproteins), and LDL (low density lipoproteins).  Plasma was collected from first-time donors or from donors who had not donated plasma for at least six months.  Participants were closely monitored throughout the process a
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