Pre-term newborns (n= 154).
Washed leucodepleted packed red blood cells (PRBCs), (n= 77).
Standard unwashed leucodepleted PRBCs (n= 77).
Changes in plasma cytokines and measures of endothelial activation in recipient blood were analysed after each of the first three transfusions. By the third transfusion, patients receiving unwashed blood had an increase in IL-17A and TNF, whereas patients receiving washed blood had reductions in IL-17A, TNF, IL-6, IL-8, IL-12 and IFN-γ. The magnitude of the post-transfusion increase in cytokines did not change between the first and third transfusions in the unwashed group but decreased in the washed group for IL-12, IL-17A and TNF, with the difference between the groups reaching significance by the third transfusion for each cytokine.