A prospective, randomized, double-blind study, comparing unirradiated to irradiated white blood cell transfusions in acute leukemia patients
A prospective, randomized double-blind study comparing the effects of irradiated and unirradiated white blood cells was conducted in 108 acute leukemia patients with life-threatening infections, refractory to antibiotics. The study demonstrated no significant improvement in 30-day survival or overall survival. Transfusion of unirradiated white cells did not compromise the patient's opportunity to undergo allogeneic stem cell transplant, nor the success rate or overall survival after allogeneic transplant. The important positive finding in this study was that the unirradiated white cells produced a significantly higher increment in circulating granulocytes and in a higher proportion of patients granulocyte count exceeded 1000 per microliter, approaching normal concentrations. The increase in the number and the improved survival of the unirradiated granulocytes suggest that this procedure might potentially be a method to improve the utility of granulocyte transfusions and merits further investigation. The study demonstrated non-inferiority for unirradiated white cells. There were no harmful effects such as graft-versus-host disease, indicating that such studies would be safe to conduct in the future.
Randomized phase III study of granulocyte transfusions in neutropenic patients
Bone Marrow Transplantation. 2008;42((10):):679-84.
Despite antibiotics, antifungals and haematopoietic growth factors, infections remain a major threat to neutropenic patients. To determine the role of granulocyte transfusions (GTs) in anti-infective therapy during neutropenia, GT administration was randomized in 74 adults with haematological or malignant diseases, febrile neutropenia and pulmonary or soft-tissue infiltrates after conventional or high-dose chemotherapy, a majority of them after allo-SCT (n=39). Neutrophil reconstitution was equal in the treatment and control arm. GT toxicity was minimal. The probability of 28-day survival after randomization was >80% in both groups, and no effect of GT on survival until day 100 could be detected in patients with fungal (n=55), bacterial or unknown infection (n=17) and various levels of neutropenia (ANC <500 vs >500 x 10(6)/l). These findings can be attributed primarily to procedural obstacles, such as long delay from randomization to first GT, low cell content and slow sequence of GT, difficulties in randomizing a safe and potentially life-saving treatment in severely endangered individuals, and a large proportion of rapidly recovering patients in both arms. The requirement of another trial in a more specific patient population with daily transfusions of sufficient numbers of granulocytes to support or refute the empirically acknowledged benefits of GT is discussed.
Granulocyte transfusions for treatment or prophylaxis of severe infections in immunocompromized neutropenic patients: a randomized clinical trial
Blood. 2006;108((11):): Abstract No. 2934.
Prevention of nosocomial infections in marrow transplant patients: a prospective randomized comparison of systemic antibiotics versus granulocyte transfusions
Infection Control. 1986;7((12):):586-92.
One hundred twelve patients with hematologic malignancies underwent marrow transplantation from HLA-matched sibling donors and were randomized to receive either prophylactic granulocyte transfusions (PG, 67 patients) or prophylactic systemic antibiotics (PSA, 45 patients) as prophylaxis against nosocomial infections. Patients were treated in conventional hospital rooms and studied until day 100 post-transplant. For the entire study period, 26 patients (39%) in the PG group developed septicemia compared to 15 patients (33%) in the PSA group. Twenty-eight patients (42%) in the PG group developed local major infections compared to 19 patients (42%) in the PSA group. Ten patients (15%) in the PG group developed viral interstitial pneumonitis compared to 6 patients (13%) in the PSA group. None of these differences were statistically significant. There was no difference in the incidence of bacterial or fungal infections or viral interstitial pneumonitis between the two groups during the granulocytopenic or post-engraftment period. There was no difference in the incidence and severity of graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD). Inability to carry out the prophylaxis was frequent in the PG group, with complications necessitating discontinuance of transfusion in 24% of the recipients and 13% of the donors. The use of PG as an infection prophylaxis modality in marrow transplantation is not supported by this study, as it is difficult to carry out and because PG did not show any advantage over the use of PSA in preventing nosocomial infections.
A controlled trial of prophylactic granulocyte transfusions during induction chemotherapy for acute nonlymphoblastic leukemia
Thirty-five noninfected patients undergoing induction chemotherapy for acute nonlymphoblastic leukemia (ANLL) were randomized to either receive (19 patients) or not receive (16 control patients) prophylactic granulocyte transfusions (PGT) when their granulocyte count fell below 0.5 X 10(9)/1. Both groups received identical anti-infectious and supportive care except for granulocyte transfusions. The authors found a nonstatistically significant decrease of the infection rate in the prophylactic group. However, the bacteriologically documented infections and septicemia incidence was significantly higher in the control than in the prophylactic group (P less than 0.05). In the control group they observed in 8 of 16 cases life-threatening infections in contrast with only 1 case in the prophylactic group (P less than 0.01). A significant reduction of deaths due to infectious causes in the prophylactic versus control group were also found (P less than 0.05). The authors did not find an increase of pneumonia or pulmonary infiltrates in the patients belonging to prophylactic in comparison to control group.
Pulmonary complications in patients receiving granulocyte transfusions and amphotericin B
Canadian Medical Association Journal. 1984;130((5):):593-7.
To evaluate the possibility that in febrile granulocytopenic patients amphotericin B given along with granulocyte transfusions could increase the incidence of pulmonary complications, we studied 43 severely granulocytopenic patients during 46 episodes of fever. Granulocytes were administered as part of the clinical protocol to all 19 patients who had clinically or microbiologically documented infection; the other 24 patients were randomly allocated to treatment with granulocytes (13 patients) or without granulocytes (11 patients). In all, 32 patients received granulocyte transfusions during 35 episodes of fever. Pulmonary complications developed in six patients in each of the two randomized groups. The incidence of pulmonary complications was not influenced by the number of granulocyte transfusions or by the number of granulocytes per transfusion. Pulmonary complications were significantly more likely to occur in patients with fungal infections. Amphotericin B was given according to clinical indications; 21 patients in all received it. Survival was significantly poorer in patients with pulmonary complications, but the administration of amphotericin B was not related either to survival or to the incidence of pulmonary complications. We conclude that pulmonary complications and poor prognosis are related to underlying pulmonary fungal infection and not to any interaction between amphotericin B and granulocyte transfusions.
Early infectious complications in allogeneic marrow transplant recipients with acute leukemia: effects of prophylactic measures
One hundred eighty-two patients with acute leukemia underwent allogeneic marrow transplantation and received one of two forms of infection prophylaxis: isolation and decontamination procedures in laminar air flow rooms (90 patients) or prophylactic granulocyte transfusion from a single family member (92 patients). Infection acquisition and survival were analyzed from the time of admission to 100 days posttransplant. There were 20 major local infections in the laminar air flow group and 16 in the prophylactic granulocyte group. Of the patients in the laminar air flow group, 24 (27%) had 27 episodes of bacteremia, while 23 (25%) of the prophylactic granulocyte group had 25 episodes of bacteremia. There were no significant differences in infection acquisition between the two groups during the period of granulocytopenia or after engraftment. The mortality during the first 100 days was 28% for the laminar air flow group and 35% for the prophylactic granulocyte group. Thirteen patients (14%) in the laminar air flow group and five (5%) in the prophylactic granulocyte group died with bacterial or fungal infections. There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups in overall incidence of or mortality from interstitial pneumonitis which was the predominant cause of death. However, the subset of patients who were seronegative for cytomegalovirus antibody at the time of transplant and received granulocytes from seropositive donors had a significantly higher incidence of and mortality from cytomegalovirus interstitial pneumonitis.
Early granulocyte transfusions in high risk febrile neutropenic patients
Schweizerische Medizinische Wochenschrift - Supplementum. 1983;14:46-8.
A total of 39 febrile neutropenic patients at high risk of gram-negative rod bacteremia and poor prognosis relative to likely response to infection were randomized prospectively to receive granulocyte transfusion within 24 hours of beginning broad spectrum combination antibiotic therapy. Of 16 infected patients receiving granulocytes 11 (69%) improved and of 23 not receiving granulocytes 18 (78%) improved (NSD). Similar results were found for bacteremia (3 of 4 and 6 of 7 improved, respectively). These results do not support the routine early use of granulocyte transfusions in this defined group of neutropenic patients.
Prophylactic granulocyte transfusions: results of a randomized controlled trial in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia
A prospective randomized and controlled clinical trial of prophylactic granulocyte transfusions was conducted in an attempt to reduce the mortality from infection in newly diagnosed adults with acute myelogenous leukemia. Granulocytes were harvested from normal donors by cytapheresis, and transfused patients received a median of 1.45 x 10(10) granulocytes (range 0.28--3.45 x 10(10)) on alternate days during marrow aplasia caused by initial induction chemotherapy. Transfusion were started if the absolute peripheral granulocyte count was less than 500 microliters. Thirteen patients received from one to 12 granulocyte transfusions, and 11 control patients received no granulocytes. No significant advantage was demonstrated in the transfused patients compared with controls with regard to the following: 1) deaths due to infection, 2) reduction in the frequency of febrile episodes, 3) delay in the onset of fever, 4) reduction in the length of febrile episodes, or 5) reduction in the frequency of proven infection.
Therapeutic granulocyte transfusions for documented infections. A controlled trial in ninety-five infectious granulocytopenic episodes
Annals of Internal Medicine. 1982;97((4):):509-15.
Patients with granulocytopenia (granulocyte count less than 0.5 x 10(9)/L) and a documented infection were randomized to receive or not to receive daily granulocyte transfusions in addition to antimicrobial therapy. Thirty-four of 47 control patients responded to therapy compared to 30 of 48 transfused patients (type 2 error, pneumonia, or a soft tissue infection, respective response rates for the control and transfused patients were 11 of 11 and 11 of 16 (Yates' corrected chi-squared test, p = 0.12). Response rates for patients with gram-negative septicemia were lower but were influenced by recovery of bone marrow function. Eleven of 12 control patients and seven of seven transfused patients with recovery of marrow function survived the gram-negative septicemia. In contrast, 12 of 24 control patients and 12 of 25 transfused patients survived gram-negative septicemia and persistent granulocytopenia (type 2 error p = 0.13). Two thirds of all fatal infections were associated with an underlying disease refractory to medical therapy. Therapeutic granulocyte transfusions had no substantial benefit over optimal antimicrobial therapy alone in managing infected patients with granulocytopenia.