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The Relative Safety of Pooled Whole-Blood-Derived Platelets Prepared by the Buffy-Coat Method Versus Single-Donor (Apheresis) Platelets by Eleftherios C. Vamvakas

Conversion to a single-donor (apheresis) platelet inventory in Western Europe and other countries that provide similar health care to the US but rely on buffy-coat pooled whole-blood-derived platelets will confer the benefit of a ≥2-fold reduction in the risk of all emerging transfusion-transmitted infections (TTIs). In Europe, this benefit will include a ≥2-fold reduction in the risk of acquiring variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) from platelet transfusion. In countries that use buffy coats from first-time donors to produce platelet pools, there will also be a ≥2-fold reduction in the risk of human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C virus infections. Conversion to a single-donor inventory collected from male donors (or female donors without a history of pregnancy or shown not to have white-blood-cell antibodies) should also reduce the risk of transfusion-related acute lung injury, although this prediction is based on theory and may not materialize or prove hard to document. Because conversion to a single-donor inventory can effect a ≥2-fold reduction in the risk of all TTIs without incurring any risk, it is a more advantageous risk-reduction strategy for emerging TTIs compared with the introduction of pathogen-reduction systems for platelets. The latter cannot protect from vCJD and potentially also from some other emerging TTIs; moreover, they have recently been associated with an increased risk of bleeding.

DOI: Clin. Lab. 2010;56:263-279