plas·​ma·​phe·​re·​sis ˌplaz-mə-fə-ˈrē-səs How to pronounce plasmapheresis (audio) -ˈfer-ə-səs How to pronounce plasmapheresis (audio)
: a process for removing blood plasma without depleting the donor or patient of other blood constituents (such as red blood cells) by separating out the plasma from the whole blood and returning the rest to the donor's or patient's circulatory system

Examples of plasmapheresis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web John was trying something new, treating it with plasmapheresis. Grant Delin, Discover Magazine, 11 May 2012 Yale Medicine says that doctors can prescribe medications including sedatives, muscle relaxants, and steroids; immunotherapies such as intravenous immunoglobulin and plasmapheresis; and other modalities like physical, occupational, and aqua therapy. Hanna Lustig, Glamour, 8 Dec. 2022 Wherry also pointed to a longstanding practice called plasmapheresis, which removes patients' plasma (the liquid portion of blood) in hopes of also removing harmful antibodies. Aria Bendix, NBC News, 27 Sep. 2022 Hurd’s transplant protocol wiped her immune system through medications and plasmapheresis treatment immediately before and after transplant surgery. Darcel Rockett, Chicago Tribune, 17 Aug. 2022 If your symptoms are progressing very rapidly, your doctor may also order plasmapheresis, which filters your blood to remove harmful proteins, says the National Kidney Foundation. Hallie Levine,, 27 Oct. 2021 The following day, Walker started a treatment called plasmapheresis, or plasma exchange, a process in which the bad plasma in his blood is replaced with good plasma. Glenn Graham,, 6 Oct. 2021 Other ways of overcoming autoimmunity, like the removal of antibodies against interferon from the blood, called plasmapheresis, could also help patients. Jason Gale, Fortune, 25 Sep. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'plasmapheresis.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, from plasm- + Greek aphairesis taking off — more at aphaeresis

First Known Use

1914, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of plasmapheresis was in 1914

Dictionary Entries Near plasmapheresis

Cite this Entry

“Plasmapheresis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Medical Definition


plas·​ma·​pher·​e·​sis ˌplaz-mə-ˈfer-ə-səs How to pronounce plasmapheresis (audio) -fə-ˈrē-səs How to pronounce plasmapheresis (audio)
plural plasmaphereses -ˌsēz How to pronounce plasmapheresis (audio)
: apheresis used to remove blood plasma (as in the treatment of myasthenia gravis or in the collection of blood plasma for use in transfusion)
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