Apheresis and photopheresis

Norton Children’s Cancer Institute features the region’s only pediatric apheresis and photopheresis program.

Apheresis and photopheresis are used to treat leukemia and sickle cell disease. Apheresis and photopheresis also fight graft-versus-host disease after bone marrow transplants and rejection after organ transplants.

Medical apheresis is a taking away of specific blood components from a donor (patient) by a special machine that can differentiate these components.

The type of apheresis depends on which component is being taken away during the procedure:

  • Red blood cell exchange is an effective therapy for sickle cell disease in which damaged red cells are removed and replaced with healthy red blood cells.
  • White cell depletion uses apheresis to remove white blood cells when levels are dangerously high.
  • Red blood cell depletion removes excess red blood cells using apheresis.
  • With photopheresis, white blood cells are treated with an ultraviolet light-activated photoactive drug before being returned to the patient’s blood. This is used to treat graft-versus-host disease, organ rejection in solid organ transplants, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
  • Plasmapheresis replaces blood plasma with plasma from a healthy donor. It is used to treat conditions such as thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura or organ rejection after a transplant.
Cancer – 7725

Contact Us

Norton Children’s offers advanced pediatric cancer care

(502) 629-7725

Courageous Clay gets his heart transplant follow-up visits closer to home in Bowling Green

Nicole Pendino has a courageous son. In fact, his nickname is “Courageous Clay.” Many members of his hometown community in Bowling Green, Kentucky, have rallied around him over the past 12 years. In 2017 when […]

Read Full Story

What is RSV in children?

You’re in line for day care pickup and discover that your child’s classmate has respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) bronchiolitis. What does this mean for your child? Your pediatrician’s office is closed, and you’re unsure of […]

Read Full Story

What’s the difference between elephant and human child development?

We love babies of all kinds at Norton Children’s. Mikki, the Louisville Zoo’s 33-year-old African elephant, gave birth Aug. 2 to a bull calf. Mikki’s pregnancy lasted 22 months (651 days). The soon-to-be named calf […]

Read Full Story

How to prevent bullying

About 20% of students ages 12 to 18 experience some kind of bullying, according to the National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics. The highest numbers of students who are bullied are made […]

Read Full Story

Facts about spina bifida every parent should know

October is National Spina Bifida Awareness Month. Spina bifida is the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the U.S. The condition affects 1,500 children each year. What do you know about the condition? Learn […]

Read Full Story

Search our entire site.