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Study Further Supports Role of Plasma Exchange in Stiff Person Syndrome

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Therapeutic plasma exchange (TPE) may be a beneficial treatment for acute exacerbations and long-term maintenance in patients with stiff person syndrome (SPS), according to a retrospective, single-institution study by Texas researchers that adds to the evidence supporting this modality for SPS. The investigators analyzed the clinical data and outcomes of 10 patients with anti-GAD65 positive SPS in which TPE was used to improve symptoms refractory to conventional treatment during an 8-year period. A review of patient records revealed the following:
– Six patients received chronic treatment with TPE following an initial course, with frequency of TPE guided by patients’ clinical response.

  • 2 patients had transient improvements with further disease progression;
  • 4 patients developed a relapse of symptoms when the interval between procedures was increased, with 1 experiencing worsening of symptoms following complete cessation of TPE due to lack of insurance coverage.

– Four patients underwent an acute hospitalized course of treatment with TPE.

  • 1 patient had complete resolution of symptoms;
  • 1 patient demonstrated a partial response;
  • 2 patients had no improvement.

Read more here.


Albahra S, Yates SG, Joseph D, et al. Role of plasma exchange in stiff person syndrome. Transfus Apher Sci. 2019;58(3):310-312. doi: 10.1016/j.transci.2019.03.015.

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