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Urology. 1996 Feb;47(2):179-81.

The potential for reintroduction of tumor cells during intraoperative blood salvage: reduction of risk with use of the RC-400 leukocyte depletion filter.

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  • 1Clinical Investigation Division, Naval Medical Center, Oakland, Calif., USA.



Intraoperative autotransfusion of shed blood is widely utilized in surgery. However, several studies have raised concern about the transmission of tumor cells during oncologic procedures. We compared the ability of a leukocyte depletion filter (RC-400; LDF) to a standard red blood cell filter (SBF) to remove tumor cells derived from urologic malignancies.


Cells were suspended in media and passed through a SBF or a LDF. The filtrate was evaluated for the presence of viable cells utilizing the trypan blue exclusion method as well as cell culture. In a second experiment, cells were suspended in fresh bovine blood and processed through a cell saver apparatus followed by filtration with either a SBF or a LDF. Aliquots were cultured after admixture with blood, after processing, and after filtration.


The LDF was able to remove tumor cells completely, as demonstrated by both counting with the trypan blue exclusion test and by cell culture. In contrast, admixture with blood processing through the cell saver apparatus nor a standard red blood cell filter removed these cells.


Tumor cells derived from urologic malignancies are easily removed with a LDF but not with a SBF. Filtration of blood salvaged at the time of uro-oncologic surgery with a LDF but not with a SBF reduces the potential for reinfusion of viable tumor cells.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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