The patient's blood is withdrawn via a venous access and enters the plasma separator. As blood flows through the hollow fibers of the plasma separator, the plasma is separated and pumped into one of the two LDL absorption columns. As the plasma passes through the column, the apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins - LDL, Lp(a) and VLDL - are selectively absorbed by the dextran sulfate - cellulose beads within the column. There is minimal effect on other plasma components such as HDL and albumin.
The LDL-depleted plasma exits the column and is recombined with the blood cells exiting the separator, all of which is returned to the patient via a second venous access.
When the first column has completed absorbing LDL, the computer-regulated machine automatically switches the plasma flow to the second column.
The plasma remaining in the first column is returned to the patient. The column is then regenerated, eluting the LDL, Lp(a) and VLDL to the waste lines. After elution the column is reprimed completely and ready for the next cycle of absorption, allowing continuous LIPOSORBER treatment. A typical treatment takes about 2 to 3 hours to perform.