, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 971-974
Date: 22 Jan 2013

Therapeutic plasma exchange in the treatment of exertional heat stroke and multiorgan failure

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Exertional heat stroke (EHS) results in a constellation of systemic inflammatory responses resulting in multiorgan failure and an extremely high mortality.

Case Diagnosis and Treatments

We present the case of an 11-year-old obese male who suffered EHS with rhabdomyolysis and concurrent renal, pulmonary, and hepatic failure. Conventional therapies including continuous veno-venous hemodiafiltration (CVVHDF) were ineffective in preventing ongoing deterioration in clinical status. Liver biopsy was reported as “extensive hepatocyte ballooning” and liver-kidney transplantation was tentatively planned.


The addition of therapeutic plasma exchange using the Prismaflex® system (Gambro, Lakewood, CO, USA) resulted in a reversal of the inflammatory process and recovery from multiorgan failure. Liver biopsy was not a reliable indicator of irreversible hepatic injury.