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Transfusion. 1999 Jul;39(7):674-81.

Clinical consequences of alterations in platelet transfusion dose: a prospective, randomized, double-blind trial.

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  • 1Temple University Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19140, USA.



The dose-response relationship for platelet transfusion has become increasingly important as the use of platelet transfusion has grown.


One hundred fifty-eight prophylactic apheresis platelet transfusions were administered to 46 patients undergoing high-dose therapy followed by hematopoietic progenitor cell transplantation in a prospective, randomized, double-blind, multiple-crossover study. Transfusions were administered in pairs, differing only in platelet content. Each pair consisted of a lower-dose platelet component (LDP) and a higher-dose platelet component (HDP) administered in random order to the same patient. LDPs contained a mean of 3.1 x 10(11) platelets (range, 2.3-3.5 x 10(11)), and HDPs contained a mean of 5.0 x 10(11) platelets (range, 4.5-6.1 x 10(11)). Patients with active bleeding and those who were refractory to platelet transfusions were excluded.


The mean posttransfusion platelet count increment with LDP was 17,010 per microL, and that with HDP was 31,057 per microL (p<0.0001). Only 37 percent of LDPs resulted in platelet count increments of at least 20,000 per microL, whereas 81 percent of HDPs resulted in increments above this level (p<0.0001). The mean transfusion-free interval with LDP was 2.16 days, whereas that with HDP was 3.03 days (p<0.01). Administration of LDPs was associated with a 39 to 82 percent increase in the relative risk (per day) of requiring subsequent platelet transfusions (p<0.0001).


As compared to the administration of HDPs, the administration of LDPs for prophylactic transfusion in hematopoietic progenitor cell transplant patients results in a lower platelet count increment, a lower likelihood of obtaining a posttransfusion platelet increment >20,000 per microL, a shorter transfusion-free interval, and a greater relative risk per day of requiring additional transfusions.

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