St. Louis hospital can filter cholesterol from patient's blood

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 | 6:05 p.m. CDT

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.



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