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Transfusion. 2003 Sep;43(9):1238-47.

The effect of methylene blue photoinactivation and methylene blue removal on the quality of fresh-frozen plasma.

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  • 1National Blood Service, England & North Wales, United Kingdom.



T: he effects of using fresh or frozen-thawed plasma, WBC reduction of plasma before freezing, and the use of two different methylene blue (MB) removal filters on the quality of MB-treated plasma were compared.


In a paired study (n = 11/arm) plasma was frozen within 8 hours of collection, thawed, MB photoinactivated, and then filtered using one of two MB removal filters. Fresh plasma (n = 16) and plasma WBC reduced before freezing (n = 19) were MB inactivated.


Freeze-thawing resulted in loss of activity of FXII and VWF of 0.06 and 0.04 units per mL, respectively, but no significant loss of activity of factors II through XI or fibrinogen. Further loss of activity occurred after MB treatment: FII (0.07 IU/mL), FV (0.11 U/mL), FVII (0.08 IU/mL), FVIII (0.28 IU/mL), F IX (0.12 IU/mL), FX (0.16 IU/mL), FXI (0.28 U/mL), FXII (0.15 U/mL), VWF antigen (0.05 IU/mL), VWF activity (0.06 U/mL), and fibrinogen (0.79 g/L). Losses due to this step were significantly (5-10%) lower in fresh plasma compared to frozen-thawed plasma. Neither MB removal filter resulted in significant loss of activity of any factor studied.


MB removal, by either of the available filters, has little impact on the coagulation factor content of plasma, but freezing of plasma before MB treatment results in a small additional loss.

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