BHUBANESWAR: In a first in Odisha, city-based SUM Ultimate Medicare has started plasma exchange (PEx) to treat liver injury. PEx is an extracorporeal procedure that separates plasma constituents from cellular blood components by centrifugation and replaces it with stored plasma. It is effective in improving clinical parameters in people with acute liver failure as compared to standard medical treatment.
The advanced therapy, also known as liver dialysis, was successfully conducted recently to treat a young woman, who had been diagnosed with severe liver injury. Associate consultant at GI Sciences department Dr Gadadhar Panda said currently the treatment of choice for critical liver failure is liver transplantation.
“Liver failure is treated conservatively until a matching liver donor becomes available. The plasma exchange plays an important role as a bridge to transplantation by removing accumulated toxins from patient plasma, as well as restoring the coagulation profile,” he said.
The final cycle of the first-ever PEx procedure in the state was completed on September 22, Dr Panda said.
With complaints of jaundice, severe itching, loss of weight and appetite for over a month, the woman had come to the hospital for treatment. On evaluation, she was diagnosed with severe liver injury.
As there was no improvement in her condition after administration of medicines, it was decided to undertake PEx, which reduced her jaundice significantly while there was improvement of other symptoms. The patient exhibited no complications.
Senior consultant Dr Ayaskant Singh said availability of such procedures would go a long way in saving the lives of many patients suffering from acute liver failure or acute liver injury due to various causes including alcohol intake, drugs, dengue fever or other reasons.
“The only option so far available for patients in such a condition was to go for liver transplantation. But now with the advances in medical science, we are able to treat such patients using a much simpler procedure of PEx to avoid prohibitive and morbid surgery,” he added.