Clinical Pathology: Transfusion Medicine

• The American Society for Apheresis (ASFA) guidelines provide an important evidence-based tool for the practice of therapeutic apheresis.

• In the 2013 ASFA guidelines, the descriptions of the various categories were simplified compared with previous versions of the guidelines. Changes in these descriptions include the addition of the strength of the recommendation, which allowed categorization to be better aligned with the strength of the evidence and the quality of the relevant publications in the literature.

• The definiton of category III reflects the individual character of the decision making process for diseases in this category.

• The recommendation grade and the individual patient’s clinical circumstances should guide whether or not therapeutic apheresis is included in the treamtent plan for category III indications.

• Other professional organizations in other fields (e.g., neurology) also prepare consensus guidelines regarding the indications for therapeutic apheresis. These may not always agree with those promulgated by the ASFA.

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