Five cases of heredopathia atactica polyneuritiformis (HAP--Refsum's disease) were treated by serial plasma exchanges. In all patients a reduction in calorie intake and body weight had been associated with a rise in plasma phytanic acid, followed by an exacerbation of the ataxia and neuropathy. Lowering the plasma phytanic acid by plasma exchange produced a rapid clinical improvement. The main indication for plasma exchange in HAP is a severe or rapidly worsening clinical condition. A lesser indication is failure of dietary management to reduce a high plasma phytanic acid level.
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