ST. LOUIS — Barnes-Jewish Hospital is the first in the St. Louis region to offer a treatment to filter cholesterol out of a patient's blood.
The therapy mainly serves patients with a genetic predisposition to having high levels of bad LDL cholesterol who don't respond well to medications.
The machine at Barnes-Jewish, called the HELP system, separates a patient's blood into red cells and plasma. The plasma is run through a material that removes LDL cholesterol, and the blood is returned to the patient.
One drawback is that patients usually must return every few weeks to repeat the procedure.