Serum triglyceride levels increase during pregnancy. In some cases, serum triglyceride can reach unsafe levels. The condition is called hypertriglyceridemia. The medical treatment for the condition during pregnancy is w-3 fatty acids, but the treatment only moderately lowers triglyceride levels. Researchers from Istanbul University tested therapeutic apheresis as a possible treatment alternative.
Two patients were evaluated for the study, patient 1 and patient 2. Patient 1 was a 32-year old woman with a previous history of hypertriglyceridemia that lead to severe pancreatitis. Patient 2 was a 30-year old woman with serum triglyceride levels in excess of 12,000 mg/dl that lead to chylomicronemia syndrome. Therapeutic apheresis treatment was combined with nutrition changes and w-3 omega acid supplementation. Patient 1 underwent double filtration apheresis. Patient 2 underwent the same treatment, but plasmapheresis was added to her treatment plan.
Conclusion: Serum triglyceride levels dropped significantly in both women. Plasmapheresis caused the most significant drop in serum triglyceride levels (72%). Therapeutic apheresis may be a viable option for treatment severe hypertriglyceridemia in pregnancy, but additional research with a larger study pool is needed.
Source: Basar R, Uzum AK, Canbaz B, Dogansen SC, Kalayoglu-Besisik S, Altay-Dadin S, Aral F, Ozbey NC. Therapeutic apheresis for severe hypertriglyceridemia in pregnancy. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2013 Mar 12.