blood test during pregnancySerum 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.

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