LDL cholesterol and Lp(a) apheresis
The oldest and at the same time most specific system to remove cholesterol (LDL adsorption system).
Developed in 1981 at the University of Cologne by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. W. Stoffel and developed by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. H. Borberg, the founder of the DHZ, and Prof. Dr. K. Oette. The method is recognised and used worldwide by experts.
The LDL (carrier of the "bad" cholesterol) binds highly specifically to anti-LDL antibodies, which are bound to the carrier material (Sepharose beads in the column).
There is no significant elimination of other (partly useful) substances
The term LDL apheresis refers to the specific removal of LDL. This term is often incorrectly used for other non-specific technologies (e.g. DALI, filtration, H.E.L.P., whole blood systems) that can also remove LDL cholesterol. These technologies are limited in terms of LDL/Lp(a) removal efficacy.
LDL apheresis remains unsurpassed today for its specificity, efficacy and cost-effectiveness.
Noteworthy: the immune-specific LDL apheresis system does not remove HDL (carrier of "good" cholesterol) and immunoglobulin (defence substances) and fibrinogen (clotting factor)
The LDL apheresis (or Lp(a) apheresis) treatment is shown schematically in the animation on the right.
First, a cell separator separates blood cells from plasma (step 1).
Then the plasma is passed over the adsorber to remove LDL-cholesterol or Lp(a) from the plasma (step 2)
In the column, LDL-cholesterol is bound highly specifically by antibodies (step 3)
Two adsorber columns (Pocard company) are alternatively loaded and unloaded many times during each treatment (repetitive-cyclic system (see step 2)).
Due to this reusability, LDL/Lp(a) apheresis has a practically unlimited capacity for the removal of LDL (or of Lp(a))
Loading and detachment of LDL is controlled by the Adasorb device
In certain cases, not only the exclusive removal of LDL is beneficial, but also the elimination of other plasma components. LDL apheresis is then used in combination with filtration (e.g. every second treatment is a rheohaemapheresis treatment)