The effect of variation in donor platelet function on transfusion outcome: A semi-randomised controlled trial

10 Aug 2017

The effect of variation in platelet function in platelet donors on patient outcome following platelet transfusion is unknown. This trial assessed the hypothesis that platelets collected from donors with highly responsive platelets to agonists in vitro assessed by flow cytometry (high-responder donors) are cleared more quickly from the circulation than those from low-responder donors, resulting in lower platelet count increments following transfusion. This parallel group, semirandomized double-blinded trial was conducted in a single center in the United Kingdom. Eligible patients were those 16 or older with thrombocytopenia secondary to bone marrow failure, requiring prophylactic platelet transfusion. Patients were randomly assigned to receive a platelet donation from a high- or low-responder donor when both were available, or when only 1 type of platelet was available, patients received that. Participants, investigators, and those assessing outcomes were masked to group assignment. The primary end point was the platelet count increment 10 to 90 minutes following transfusion. Analysis was by intention to treat. Fifty-one patients were assigned to receive platelets from low-responder donors, and 49 from high-responder donors (47 of which were randomized and 53 nonrandomized). There was no significant difference in platelet count increment 10 to 90 minutes following transfusion in patients receiving platelets from high-responder (mean, 21.0 × 109/L; 95% confidence interval [CI], 4.9-37.2) or low-responder (mean, 23.3 × 109/L; 95% CI, 7.8-38.9) donors (mean difference, 2.3; 95% CI, −1.1 to 5.7; P = .18). These results support the current policy of not selecting platelet donors on the basis of platelet function for prophylactic platelet transfusion.