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Transfusion. 2009 May;49(5):985-94. doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2008.02076.x. Epub 2009 Jan 21.

Assessment of safety in neonates for transfusion of platelets and plasma prepared with amotosalen photochemical pathogen inactivation treatment by a 1-month intravenous toxicity study in neonatal rats.

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Cerus Corporation, Stanwell Drive, Concord, California 94520, USA



It is estimated that approximately 300,000 neonates undergo transfusions annually. The neonatal immune system is immature, making such patients more susceptible to the effects associated with transfusion-transmitted bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and white blood cells (WBCs). The INTERCEPT Blood System is a photochemical process (PCT) utilizing amotosalen and long-wavelength ultraviolet to inactivate pathogens and WBCs in both platelet (PLT) and plasma components for transfusion. A series of clinical studies has shown PCT PLTs and PCT plasma to be safe and effective for transfusion in adults and pediatric patients. Because clinical studies in neonates are technically difficult and ethically challenging, preclinical toxicologic studies were conducted in neonatal rats to evaluate the safety of PCT blood components for neonates.


This study examined daily intravenous administration to neonatal rats of amotosalen in 35 percent:65 percent plasma:InterSol from 1 microg per kg per day (representing 1-unit transfusion) to 457 microg per kg per day (representing multiple transfusions) from Postnatal Day 4 (PND4) to PND31. Rats were observed for viability, clinical signs, and body weights until PND31 and then subjected to pathology evaluation. Hematology, clinical chemistry, and urinalysis data were also collected on PND31. Toxicokinetic parameters were evaluated on PND4 and PND31.


There were no amotosalen-related effects on clinical signs, body weight, hematology, clinical chemistry, urinalysis, gross pathology, or histopathology, despite the exposure of neonatal rats to amotosalen concentrations as high as approximately 48 times the standard exposure in adult patients.


This study demonstrates the safety of PCT for transfusion in neonatal rats and augments data from other studies and clinical use supporting the use of PCT in neonatal patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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