TRANSFUSION MEDICINE REVIEWS Vol 11, No 3 JUL Y 1997 Steven Kleinman, Michael P. Busch, James J. Korelitz, and George B. Schreiber CCURATE ESTIMATES of transfusion-transmitted risks are important to enable policy makers to evaluate the expected benefit and costs of proposed interventions to further reduce transfusiontransmitted infection risk, as well as to allow patients and physicians to make informed decisions about whether to receive an allogeneic transfusion or to select another therapeutic option. Although each donated unit of blood is tested for evidence of infection by specific viral agents, there are at least four potential reasons why transmission of these viral agents still might occur. The primary reason is that the donor has negative laboratory test results during the early stages of infection, known as the window period. A second factor contributing to the risk of transfusion-transmitted infection 'for some agents is the existence of a chronic carrier state in which a clinically asymptomatic donor will persistently test negative on a donation screening assay. Thirdly, a viral agent may have a large enough degree of genetic diversity so that laboratory screening tests fail to identify som~ infectious donors who harbor a particular atypical genetic variant. A fourth
Transfusion Medicine Reviews – Elsevier
Published: Jul 1, 1997
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