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Shock. 2006 Oct;26(4):342-7.

The effects of leukoreduced blood transfusion on infection risk following injury: a randomized controlled trial.

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Department of Surgery and the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA.


Allogeneic blood transfusions in surgical patients have been associated with an increased risk of infectious complications and organ dysfunction. Residual leukocytes contaminating units of packed red blood cells have been incriminated through the induction of anergy and/or a potentiated inflammatory response, leading to the possibility that leukoreduced red blood cell transfusion might mitigate these effects. We set out to evaluate the effect of leukoreduced red cell transfusion on the risk of infections complications in patients requiring transfusion following injury. We conducted a single-center, double-blinded randomized controlled trial of leukoreduced versus standard, nonleukoreduced red blood cell transfusions in injured patients receiving transfusion within 24 hrs of injury. The primary endpoint was infectious complications within 28 days of randomization. Secondary end points were multiple organ failure, length of stay, febrile episodes, and mortality. Two hundred sixty eight subjects were eligible for analysis. Rates of infectious complications were similar in subjects receiving leukoreduced transfusions (30%) or standard transfusions (36%) ([RR], 0.84 [0.55-1.3]) and there was no statistically significant effect of leukoreduced blood transfusion on mortality [RR, 1.20 (0.74-1.9)], febrile episodes [RR, 1.01 (0.89-1.2)], or organ dysfunction scores (5.9 vs. 6.6; P=0.29). Thus, pre-storage leukoreduction of allogeneic red blood cells had a small, but non-significant effect on the rate of infectious complication in this high-risk population requiring transfusion. There was no effect on the rates of febrile episodes, mortality, length of stay, or severity of organ dysfunction.


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