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Eur J Pediatr. 1986 Apr;145(1-2):10-3.

Neocytopheresis: a new approach for the transfusion of patients with thalassaemia major.


At present the treatment of thalassaemia major consists of regular blood transfusions coupled with chelation therapy using deferoxamine. A complementary approach to the problem is the use of blood units enriched with young red cells (neocytes), which reduce the transfusional frequency and thereby diminish the risk of iron overload. Young red cell units were collected from blood from 60 volunteer donors using a cell separator (IBM 2997). Donors' blood was anticoagulated and the young red cell harvesting carried out over 4 h at a constant rotor speed of 500 rpm. Three biological criteria were used to evaluate young red cell quality: the number of reticulocytes, the pyruvate kinase activity and the mean corpuscular volume, all of which show an enrichment of young red cells as compared to standard donor units. The 51Cr young red cell survival in four normal donors and in two splenectomized patients showed an increased red cell half-life compared to the same study performed with standard blood units. Blood consumption was diminished significantly when the two patients were transfused with young red cell units. It must be emphasized that, despite the high cost of this blood product, the efficiency of this transfusion technique, by reducing blood consumption, represents important progress and a hopeful treatment for chronic anaemia.

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