Clinical effects of different types of red cell concentrates in patients with thalassemia and sickle cell disease.

Transfusion clinique et biologique : journal de la Societe francaise de transfusion sanguine

PubMedID: 18434227

Cabibbo S, Fidone C, Antolino A, Manenti OG, Garozzo G, Travali S, Bennardello F, Di Stefano R, Bonomo P. Clinical effects of different types of red cell concentrates in patients with thalassemia and sickle cell disease. Transfus Clin Biol. 2007;14(6):542-50.
The treatment of thalassemia is still essentially based on continuous transfusion supporting using red cell concentrates (RCC) prepared in different ways. For patients with sickle-cell disorders, either urgent or chronic red blood cell transfusion therapy, is widely used in the management of sickle cell disease (SCD) because it reduces HbS level and generally prevents recurrent vaso-occlusive disease (VOD). Recently, the introduction of pre-storage filtration to remove leukocytes and the use of techniques for multicomponent donation have increased the types of blood components available for transfusion purposes. The clinical effects of different types of blood components in thalassaemic and sickle-cell patients have not been extensively studied so far. We evaluated the impact of the various different blood components currently available on transfusion needs, transfusion intervals and adverse reactions in order to determine which is the most advantageous for transfusion-dependent thalassaemic and sickle-cell patients followed in our centre. We believe that the optimal characteristics of the RCC are aged less than 10 days from time of collection; Hb content greater than 56 g per unit; Hct: 55-60%; volume (including additive) 300 mL+/-20%; leucodepleted to less than 200,000 leukocytes per unit; low cytokine content (achievable by pre-storage filtration carried out between two and 24 hours after the collection); lack of microaggregates (achievable by pre-storage filtration or filtration in the laboratory) and protein content less than 0.5 g per unit for patients allergic to plasma proteins (achievable with manual or automated washing). It is still recommended that the blood transfused should be as fresh as possible, compatible with the centre's product availability and the centre's organisation should be continuously adapted to this aim. We always transfuse blood within 10 days of its collection, respecting Rh and Kell system phenotypes. Pre-storage filtration is strongly recommended, both in order to prevent adverse reactions through the marked leucodepletion (less than 200,000 leukocytes per unit) and for a better standardisation of the final product, including the certainty that the product does not contain clots, an assurance that bed-side filtration cannot give. The RCC should be produced using a method causing as little as possible stress to the red cell membrane. The use of RCC with a high content of Hb (less than 56 g per unit) is strongly recommended, because our study clearly shows that this reduces the number of exposures to donors and the number of accesses to hospital, thus improving the patient's quality of life.