The use of fluid boluses to safely perform extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) in low-weight children: A novel procedure

Jennifer Schneiderman*, David A. Jacobsohn, Jennifer Collins, Kimberly Thormann, Morris Kletzel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Apheresis procedures in small children are technically challenging and require special planning with attention to extracorporeal volume. Discontinuous procedures such as extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) require additional consideration. Alternative methods to perform ECP have been utilized in small children that require manipulation of mononuclear cells outside the standard closed-loop system. We present a safe and feasible alternative to the procedure for children who weigh less than 40 Kg, while maintaining a closed loop, sterile system utilizing the UVAR XTS device. A retrospective chart review was performed analyzing the use of fluid boluses (normal saline in those between 20 and 40 Kg, 5% albumin in those under 20 Kg) before ECP. Eleven patients underwent 334 ECP procedures for acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (n 5 9), and for prevention of graft-versus-host disease (n 5 2). Volumes of fluid boluses were calculated based on the expected extracorporeal volume during the first draw cycle. Treatments consisted of at least three draw cycles using the 125 mL bowl. The median weight was 28.5 Kg (range 19 to 39); nine of 11 required red cell transfusions to maintain adequate hematocrit. Complications attributed to ECP included tachycardia, dizziness, nausea, and hypotension; these occurred either in combination or isolation in 31% of the procedures and resolved following additional fluid boluses. Only three (0.8%) required early photoactivation due to these complications. The median time to completion of treatment was 2 h and 58 min (range 1:30 to 5:03). ECP is well tolerated in low-weight pediatric patients if hematocrit and hydration are carefully maintained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-69
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of clinical apheresis
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010


  • Extracorporeal photopheresis
  • Graft-versus-host disease
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
  • Pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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