Indian Journal of Nephrology About us |  Subscription |  e-Alerts  | Feedback | Login   
  Print this page Email this page   Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size
 Home | Current Issue | Archives| Ahead of print | Search |Instructions |  Editorial Board  

Users Online:327

Official publication of the Indian Society of Nephrology
 ~  Similar in PUBMED
 ~  Search Pubmed for
 ~  Search in Google Scholar for
 ~  Article in PDF (273 KB)
 ~  Citation Manager
 ~  Access Statistics
 ~  Reader Comments
 ~  Email Alert *
 ~  Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  


 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded88    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal


  Table of Contents  
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 485-486

Plasma exchange for steroid unresponsive Devic's disease

1 Department of Nephrology, Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati, India
2 Department of Neurology, Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati, India

Date of Web Publication14-Jan-2013

Correspondence Address:
V Siva Kumar
Department of Nephrology, Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences, Tirupati
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-4065.106050

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Devi B V, Kishore C K, Rao J, Vengamma B, Kumar V S. Plasma exchange for steroid unresponsive Devic's disease. Indian J Nephrol 2012;22:485-6

How to cite this URL:
Devi B V, Kishore C K, Rao J, Vengamma B, Kumar V S. Plasma exchange for steroid unresponsive Devic's disease. Indian J Nephrol [serial online] 2012 [cited 2023 Feb 3];22:485-6. Available from:


A 15-year-old girl presented with weakness of both lower limbs, sensory loss below costal margin, and bladder disturbances for 3 days; loss of vision in the left eye for 3 months with past history of similar illness (3 months back) that showed partial improvement in motor power, sensory, and autonomic disturbances with steroid therapy without any improvement in vision. Physical examination showed optic atrophy in the left eye. Muscle power in lower limbs was 1/5 in proximal and distal groups. Pain sensation below D 7 level was diminished. There was an exaggerated knee-jerk reaction and extensor plantar responses. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed demyelinating changes in right centrum semi-ovale of the brain and demyelination in spinal cord from C 4 level to D 9 level; visual evoked potential from left eye showed prolonged P 100 latency with reduced amplitude. She was again treated with I.V. steroids for 5 days followed by oral steroids. As there was no improvement after 11 days of oral steroids, patient was treated with plasma exchange. She received a total of five sessions of plasma exchange on alternate days. The amount of plasma removed was calculated based on the formula: 0.065 × body weight (1% hematocrit) and it was about 1.7 l, which was replaced with four packs of fresh frozen plasma (each containing 180-220 ml of plasma), 100 ml of 20% albumin, and 1 l of normal saline. After third session, muscle power in the lower limbs improved to 3/5 in the proximal group of muscles and 2/5 in the distal group of muscles. Muscle power remained unchanged till discharge, i.e., after 10 days of completion of fifth session of plasma exchange, and the patient was able to walk with support. She maintaines her muscle power at 10 months follow up.

Devic's neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system characterized by severe attacks of optic neuritis and myelitis. [1],[2] The specific antibody called NMO-IgG was found in more than 70% of these patients. This antibody is targeted against aquaporin-4 (AQP-4) water channel, [2] widely expressed in the optic nerves, the spinal cord, and the peri-ventricular regions. Traditionally, the main stay of the treatment of the acute attack or the index event has been high-dose intravenous steroid. Plasma exchange found a significant role in patients who did not respond to corticosteroids in Devic's disease in the recent literature. [3],[4],[5] The proposed mechanism of benefit being removal of the antibodies and immune complexes and the reported recovery is to the extent of 40%. [4] In plasma exchange, the filter pore diameter measures upto 0.2 μm resulting in filtration of substances upto a molecular weight of approximately 3 × 10 6 Da, such as circulating immunoglobulins and immune complexes directed at components of the central and peripheral nervous system. Plasma exchange has been shown to reduce IgG, IgM, and total complement levels by 63.4%, 68.9%, and 57.1%, respectively, after one exchange and 80.1%, 79.5%, and 59.7%, respectively, after five exchanges. [2] Here in, we report the importance of plasma exchange in the management of a patient of steroid unresponsive Devic's disease.

  References Top

1.Thomas C, Mini S, Thomas SV. 'Rescue' plasmapheresis in a case of severe steroid unresponsive devic's neuromyelitis optica. Ann Indian Acad Neurol 2006;9:42-5.  Back to cited text no. 1
  Medknow Journal  
2.Collongues N, de Seze J. Current and future treatment approaches for neuromyelitis optica. Ther Adv Neurol Disord 2011;4:111-21.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Keegan M, Pineda AA, McClelland RL, Darby CH, Rodriguez M, Weinshenker BG. Plasma exchange for severe attacks of CNS demyelination: Predictors of response. Neurology 2002;58:143-6.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Ruprecht K, Klinker E, Dintelmann T, Rieckmann P, Gold R. Plasma exchange for severe optic neuritis: Treatment of 10 patients. Neurology 2004;63:1081-3.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Paus S, Prömse A, Schmidt S, Klockgether T. Treatment of steroid-unresponsive tumefactive demyelinating disease with plasma exchange. Neurology 2003;61:1022.  Back to cited text no. 5


Print this article  Email this article


Indian Journal of Nephrology
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 20th Sept '07