Comparison of different platelet count thresholds to guide administration of prophylactic platelet transfusion for preventing bleeding in people with haematological disorders after myelosuppressive chemotherapy or stem cell transplantation

Haematology/Transfusion Medicine, NHS Blood and Transplant, Level 2, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headington, Oxford, UK, OX3 9BQ.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.. 2015;((11)):CD010983.
BACKGROUND Platelet transfusions are used in modern clinical practice to prevent and treat bleeding in people who are thrombocytopenic due to bone marrow failure. Although considerable advances have been made in platelet transfusion therapy in the last 40 years, some areas continue to provoke debate, especially concerning the use of prophylactic platelet transfusions for the prevention of thrombocytopenic bleeding.This is an update of a Cochrane review first published in 2004, and previously updated in 2012 that addressed four separate questions: prophylactic versus therapeutic-only platelet transfusion policy; prophylactic platelet transfusion threshold; prophylactic platelet transfusion dose; and platelet transfusions compared to alternative treatments. This review has now been split into four smaller reviews looking at these questions individually; this review compares prophylactic platelet transfusion thresholds. OBJECTIVES To determine whether different platelet transfusion thresholds for administration of prophylactic platelet transfusions (platelet transfusions given to prevent bleeding) affect the efficacy and safety of prophylactic platelet transfusions in preventing bleeding in people with haematological disorders undergoing myelosuppressive chemotherapy or haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). SEARCH METHODS We searched for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (Cochrane Library 2015, Issue 6, 23 July 2015), MEDLINE (from 1946), Embase (from 1974), CINAHL (from 1937), the Transfusion Evidence Library (from 1950), and ongoing trial databases to 23 July 2015. SELECTION CRITERIA We included RCTs involving transfusions of platelet concentrates, prepared either from individual units of whole blood or by apheresis, and given to prevent bleeding in people with haematological disorders (receiving myelosuppressive chemotherapy or undergoing HSCT) that compared different thresholds for administration of prophylactic platelet transfusions (low trigger (5 x 10(9)/L); standard trigger (10 x 10(9)/L); higher trigger (20 x 10(9)/L, 30 x 10(9)/L, 50 x 10(9)/L); or alternative platelet trigger (for example platelet mass)). DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS We used the standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane. MAIN RESULTS Three trials met our predefined inclusion criteria and were included for analysis in the review (499 participants). All three trials compared a standard trigger (10 x 10(9)/L) versus a higher trigger (20 x 10(9)/L or 30 x 10(9)/L). None of the trials compared a low trigger versus a standard trigger or an alternative platelet trigger. The trials were conducted between 1991 and 2001 and enrolled participants from fairly comparable patient populations.The original review contained four trials (658 participants); in the previous update of this review we excluded one trial (159 participants) because fewer than 80% of participants had a haematological disorder. We identified no new trials in this update of the review.Overall, the methodological quality of the studies was low across different outcomes according to GRADE methodology. None of the included studies were at low risk of bias in every domain, and all the included studies had some threats to validity.Three studies reported the number of participants with at least one clinically significant bleeding episode within 30 days from the start of the study. There was no evidence of a difference in the number of participants with a clinically significant bleeding episode between the standard and higher trigger groups (three studies; 499 participants; risk ratio (RR) 1.35, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.95 to 1.90; low-quality evidence).One study reported the number of days with a clinically significant bleeding event (adjusted for repeated measures). There was no evidence of a difference in the number of days of bleeding per participant between the standard and higher trigger groups (one study; 255 participants; relative proportion of days with World Health Organization
Study details
Study Design : Systematic Review
Language : English
Credits : Bibliographic data from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine