Platelets are known to become activated during storage, but it is unclear whether such activation affects recovery or survival after platelet concentrate (PC) transfusion. With the use of flow cytometry to determine the percentage of platelets expressing the alpha‐granule membrane protein 140 (GMP‐140), a known adhesive ligand appearing on the platelet surface after activation, several studies were conducted. These investigations evaluated 1) the occurrence of significant platelet activation over time in PCs (n = 46) stored under standard blood bank conditions; 2) the correlation between platelet activation and platelet recovery in normal subjects after PC storage (n = 12), as assessed by the recovery of Indium‐labeled platelets; and 3) the recovery of activated and unactivated platelets in thrombocytopenic cancer patients transfused with standard PCs (n = 11). It was determined 1) that an increasing duration of storage of PC was associated with increasing platelet activation as measured by the percentage of platelets expressing GMP‐140, progressing from a mean of 4 +/− 2 percent (SD) on the day of collection to a mean of 25 +/− 8 percent by 5 days of storage: 2) that, in normal subjects, posttransfusion recovery of autologous platelets stored for 2 to 4 days and then labeled with In111 was inversely correlated with the percentage of activated platelets in the transfused PC (r = ‐0.55, p = 0.05); and 3) that, when thrombocytopenic patients were transfused with standard PCs, the recovery of the activated platelets in the transfused PCs averaged only 38 +/− 15 percent of the number predicted by the absolute platelet increment. It can be concluded that significant platelet activation occurs with standard platelet storage over 5 days and that activated platelets that express GMP‐140 are preferentially cleared from the circulation after transfusion.
Transfusion – Wiley
Published: Jun 1, 1991
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