Pre-storage leucocyte depletion and transfusion reaction rates in cancer patients

A. Da Ponte, E. Bidoli, R. Talamini, A. Steffan, L. Abbruzzese, R. Tassan Toffola, L. De Marco

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Passenger leucocytes transfused with allogenic blood are responsible for potential adverse effects. The impact of pre-storage leucodepletion (in-line filtration) of all whole blood units on transfusion reaction rate among patients suffering from cancer was retrospectively studied, comparing all reactions following red blood cell (RBC) transfusions during 2 years of pre-storage vs. 2 years of selective (bedside) leucodepletion. During selective leucodepletion, 5165 RBC units - of which 2745 were bedside filtered units-were transfused to 866 patients. Twenty-eight reactions were recorded: 22 (15 in the bedside group) febrile non-haemolytic transfusion reactions (FNHTR) and six allergic reactions (five in the bedside group). The overall percentage of reactions was 0.54 (0.76 for bedside) and 0.42 for FNHTR (0.54 for bedside). During pre-storage leucodepletion, 4116 RBC units were transfused to 841 patients. Eleven reactions were recorded: four FNHTR and seven allergic reactions (urticaria). The percentage of reactions for transfused RBC units was 0.26 (0.09 for FNHTR). Comparison between pre-storage filtration and bedside filtration with regard to FNHTR showed an odds ratio of 2.80 (95% confidence interval = 0.83-14.87) for bedside filtration. The study suggests that, for transfused patients affected by cancer, pre-storage leucodepletion is more effective than selective (bedside) filtration in reducing the incidence of transfusion reactions (FNHTR).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-43
Number of pages7
JournalTransfusion Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005


  • In-line filtration
  • Leucodepletion
  • Transfusion reactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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