Leukoreduction of blood transfusions does not diminish transfusion-associated microchimerism in trauma patients
BACKGROUND Transfusion of trauma patients can result in long-term survival of donor white blood cells (WBCs) or transfusion-associated microchimerism(TA-MC). The aim was to determine whether leukoreduction of blood transfusions, advocated to reduce the immunomodulatory effect of transfusion, decreases the likelihood of developing TA-MC. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS A subgroup of trauma patients from a randomized trial was examined, evaluating the risk of infection following leukoreduced versus nonleukoreduced blood transfusion. Patients' blood was sampled at least 1 month after hospital discharge, and TA-MC was assessed with quantitative allele-specific polymerase chain reaction detection of differences at the HLA-DR locus or a panel of insertion-deletion polymorphism loci distributed throughout the chromosomal complement. At the time of blood sampling, a scripted interview was used to ascertain symptoms suggestive of chronic graft-versus host disease (cGVHD). RESULTS For 67 patients evaluated, the mean age was 43 +/- 17 years and mean Injury Severity Score was 24 +/- 12. Median time from injury to blood sampling for TA-MC was 240 (interquartile range, 116-360) days. Nine of 32 patients (28%) in the nonleukoreduced transfusion group developed TA-MC compared to 13 of 35 patients (37%) in the leukoreduced group (p = 0. 43). Subjects with TA-MC were no more likely than subjects without TA-MC to have at least one symptom suggestive of cGVHD (64% vs. 76%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS TA-MC seems to be a prevalent condition among injured patients at the second of two regional trauma centers evaluated, suggesting that it is a common phenomenon after transfusion in the setting of injury. Although leukoreduction removes greater than 99. 9 percent of donor WBCs, it fails to prevent or even substantially reduce the likelihood of developing TA-MC. TA-MC does not appear to be strongly associated with symptoms suggestive of cGVHD several months after transfusion.
Absence of activation of CMV by blood transfusion to HIV-infected, CMV-seropositive patients
BACKGROUND The Viral Activation Transfusion Study (VATS) afforded an opportunity to determine whether blood transfusions, and in particular exogenous WBCs, activateCMV replication in HIV-infected, CMV-seropositive patients, and whether such patients can be superinfected by additional strains of CMV transmitted via blood transfusions. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS A total of 531 patients were randomized to receive either WBC-reduced (WBCR) or non-WBC-reduced (NWBCR) RBC units. Plasma CMV PCR assays were performed before transfusion and weekly after transfusion for 4 weeks. NWBCR cases with evidence of possible reactivation and/or superinfection were further studied for donor viremia by DNA PCR of frozen retention segments and new genotype acquisition using gB envelope sequence analysis of pre- and posttransfusion recipient specimens. RESULTS VATS patients received a median of two RBC units during their initial transfusion. Whether positive or negative for CMV DNA at baseline, there were no significant treatment-arm differences in the percentage of patients who had positive qualitative CMV PCR or increases in CMV viral load at follow-up. Of 50 recipients randomized to NWBCR RBC and meeting criteria for possible CMV superinfection, 25 had sufficient CMV DNA load in a baseline and one or more viremic follow-up sample to permit comparison of gB genotypes. Only two recipients showed genotype shifts. Of 125 WBC pellets prepared from the seropositive units transfused into these 50 cases, only 1 tested weakly PCR positive for CMV DNA (insufficient copy number for genotyping). CONCLUSION There was no evidence of activationof CMV by blood transfusion. Among the NWBCR RBC recipients, there was little evidence of possible transmission of new CMV strains. Hence, the current policy for transfusion support of HIV-infected patients, which allows transfusion of CMV-antibody-positive blood to CMV-seropositive patients, is appropriate.
Survival of transfused donor white blood cells in HIV-infected recipients
The appearance and expansion of donor white blood cells in a recipient after transfusion has many potential biologic ramifications. Although patients with HIV infection are ostensibly at high risk for microchimerism, transfusion-associated graft-versus-host disease (TA-GVHD) is rare. The purpose of this study was to search for sustained microchimerism in such patients. Blood samples were collected from 93 HIV-infected women (a subset from the Viral Activation Transfusion Study, an NHLBI multicenter randomized trial comparing leukoreduced versus unmodified red blood cell [RBC] transfusions) before and after transfusions from male donors. Donor lymphocytes were detected in posttransfusion specimens using a quantitative Y-chromosome-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay, and donor-specific human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles were identified with allele-specific PCR primers and probes. Five of 47 subjects randomized to receive nonleukoreduced RBCs had detectable male lymphocytes 1 to 2 weeks after transfusion, but no subject had detectable male cells more than 4 weeks after a transfusion. In 4 subjects studied, donor-specific HLA haplotypes were detected in posttransfusion specimens, consistent with one or more donors' cells. None of 46 subjects randomized to receive leukoreduced RBCs had detectable male lymphocytes in the month after transfusion. Development of sustained microchimerism after transfusion in HIV-infected patients is rare; HIV-infected patients do not appear to be at risk for TA-GVHD.
Leukocyte-reduced red blood cell transfusions in patients with anemia and human immunodeficiency virus infection: the Viral Activation Transfusion Study: a randomized controlled trial
CONTEXT Allogeneic blood transfusions have immunomodulatory effects and have been associated with activation of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) in vitro and of HIV in small pilot studies. Retrospective studies suggest that transfusions adversely affect the clinical course of HIV. Data in selected non-HIV-infected patients requiring blood transfusion have suggested clinical benefit with leukocyte-reduced red blood cells (RBCs). OBJECTIVE To compare the effects of leukoreduced and unmodified RBC transfusions on survival, complications of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and relevant laboratory markers in HIV-infected patients. DESIGN AND SETTING Double-blind randomized controlled trial conducted in 11 US academic medical centers from July 1995 through June 1999, with a median follow-up of 12 months (24 months in survivors). PATIENTS A total of 531 persons infected with HIV and CMV, aged 14 years or older, who required transfusions for anemia; 259 received leukoreduced transfusions and 262 received unmodified transfusions (10 did not receive the planned transfusion). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Survival and change in plasma HIV RNA level 7 days after transfusion, compared by type of transfusion. RESULTS At entry, the groups were similar in demographic, clinical, and relevant laboratory characteristics. A total of 3864 RBC units were transfused. Two hundred eighty-nine deaths occurred (151 with leukoreduced transfusion; 138 with unmodified transfusion); median survival was 13.0 and 20.5 months, respectively (relative hazard [RH], 1.20; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.95-1.51; log-rank P =.12). Analyses adjusted for prognostic factors suggested possible worse survival with leukoreduction (RH, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.06-1.72). There was no difference in time to new opportunistic event/death or frequency of transfusion reactions. No changes in plasma HIV RNA level were seen in either group at days 7, 14, 21, or 28, even in patients not taking antiretroviral drugs. There were no differences in trends between groups in CMV DNA, CD4 cell counts, activated (CD38% or human leukocyte antigen-DR) CD8 cell counts, or plasma cytokine levels. CONCLUSIONS We found no evidence of HIV, CMV, or cytokine activation following blood transfusion in patients with advanced HIV infection. Leukoreduction provided no clinical benefit in these patients. These data demonstrate the importance of conducting controlled studies of effects of leukoreduction in different patient populations, since smaller studies in other patient populations have suggested leukoreduction may be beneficial.
WBC reduction in RBC concentrates by prestorage filtration: multicenter experience
BACKGROUND As universal leukocyte (WBC) reduction (ULR) is being considered as a new standard, few data are available on the performance of WBC-reduction filtration in routine practice. The performance of WBC-reduction in RBCs, using varied filtration practices, in meeting the current FDA requirement (<5 x 10(6)), Council of Europe (EC) recommendation, the proposed FDA requirement (<1 x 10(6)), and a more stringent proposal (<5 x 10(5)) for residual WBCs per RBC unit was assessed and compared. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS Participating facilities were the 11 sites of the Viral Activation Transfusion Study (VATS), a prospective study of the impact of transfusion with and without WBC-reduction on survival and HIV viral load in HIV-1-infected patients. Patients randomly assigned to undergo WBC reduction were required to receive RBCs < or =14 days old that had undergone prestorage (within 72 hours of collection) WBC-reduction filtration by a method devised to achieve a postfiltration WBC count of <5 x 10(6). Residual WBC quantitation was performed by PCR in the central VATS laboratory by using frozen WBC-reduced RBC samples obtained at issue for transfusion. RESULTS A total of 1869 WBC-reduced RBC units were studied. Filtration practices varied within and between sites. There were significant differences in mean residual WBC counts at the 11 sites (p<0.001). Among the WBC-reduced RBC units, 0.8 percent exceeded 5 x 10(6) WBCs per unit, 8.3 percent exceeded 1 x 10(6) WBCs per unit, and 14.3 percent exceeded 5 x 10(5) WBCs per unit. CONCLUSION Residual WBCs in WBC-reduced RBC units vary within and between sites. WBC reduction was successful, in that over 99 percent and 91 percent of VATS WBC-reduced RBC units met US and EC thresholds, respectively. However, the small but measurable failure rate indicates that not every unit will meet these guidelines.