LDL Apheresis Program
Loyola University Medical Center is offering LDL apheresis, a treatment that cleanses the patient’s blood of LDL (bad) cholesterol. Loyola is among a handful of centers in the Midwest – and the only academic medical center in Chicago – to offer LDL apheresis.
Once every two weeks, a patient spends two to four hours connected to an apheresis unit that processes the blood. The machine separates the blood and plasma, then removes about 70 to 80 percent of the patient’s LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol. The cleaned blood is returned to the body. The good HDL cholesterol is not removed.
Loyola’s multidisciplinary LDL Apheresis Program is intended for patients who have been unable to control cholesterol with lifestyle changes and medications. They include patients with coronary heart disease who have LDL cholesterol greater than 200 mg/dL, and patients without coronary artery disease who have LDL levels greater than 300 mg/dL.
Research shows that LDL apheresis improves vascular function and can help patients avoid a heart attack or stroke.
LDL apheresis is done under the guidance of medical specialists from Loyola’s transfusion service, and patients have periodic clinical follow-ups with a lipidologist (cholesterol specialist).