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Transfus Med Hemother. 2013 Oct;40(5):362-8. doi: 10.1159/000354837. Epub 2013 Sep 11.

Effectiveness of platelet transfusion in dengue Fever: a randomized controlled trial.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Allama Iqbal Medical College/ Jinnah Hospital Lahore, Lahore, Pakistan.



Scientific data regarding effects of platelet transfusion on platelet count in dengue-related thrombocytopenia is scanty.


A single center, randomized non-blinded trial was conducted on adult patients with dengue fever and platelet counts less than 30,000/μl. Patients were randomized to treatment and control group. Treatment group received single donor platelets. Patients with post-transfusion platelet increment (PPI) ≥10,000/μl and/or corrected count increment (CCI) ≥5,000/μl 1 h post-transfusion were considered responders. Primary outcome was platelet count increments at 24 and 72 h.


87 patients were enrolled, and 43 (48.2%) received platelet transfusion. Mean PPI and CCI at 1 h post-transfusion in the treatment group were 18,800/μl and 7,000/μl respectively. 22 (53.6%) patients in the treatment group were non-responders. Mean platelet increments at 24 and 72 h were higher in the treatment group as compared to the control group. Responders showed significantly higher increments when compared to non-responders and the control group at 24 h (p = 0.004 and p ≤ 0.001, respectively) and 72 h (p = 0.001 and p ≤ 0.001, respectively). Significant differences were found between non-responders and the control group at 24 h (p ≤ 0.001), but not at 72 h (p = 0.104). Patients with lower baseline platelet count were more likely to be non-responders. Platelet transfusion neither prevented development of severe bleeding nor shortened time to cessation of bleeding. Three severe transfusion reactions and two deaths occurred in treatment group.


In this trial, almost half the patients showed no response to a high-dose platelet transfusion. Platelet transfusion did not prevent development of severe bleeding or shorten time to cessation of bleeding and was associated with significant side effects. Therefore, platelet transfusion should not be routinely done in the management of dengue fever.


CCI; Corrected count increment; Dengue fever; Dengue hemorrhagic fever; Platelet transfusion; Single donor apheresis platelets; Transfusion reaction

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