A randomized controlled trial comparing standard- and low-dose strategies for transfusion of platelets (SToP) to patients with thrombocytopenia
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A noninferiority study was performed comparing low-dose and standard-dose prophylactic platelet transfusions. A double-blind randomized controlled trial (RCT) was performed in 6 sites in 3 countries. Thrombocytopenic adults requiring prophylactic platelet transfusion were randomly allocated to standard-dose (300-600 x 10(9) platelets/product) or low-dose (150- < 300 x 10(9) platelets/product) platelets. The primary outcome (World Health Organization [WHO] bleeding > or = grade 2) was assessed daily through clinical examination, patient interview, and chart review. A WHO grade was assigned through adjudication. The Data Safety Monitoring Board stopped the study because the difference in the grade 4 bleeding reached the prespecified threshold of 5%. At this time, 129 patients had been randomized and 119 patients were included in the analysis (58 low dose; 61 standard dose). Three patients in the low-dose arm (5.2%) had grade 4 bleeds compared with none in the standard-dose arm. WHO bleeding grade 2 or higher was 49.2% (30/61) in the standard-dose arm and 51.7% (30/58) in the low-dose group (relative risk [RR], 1.052; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.737-1.502). A higher rate of grade 4 bleeding in patients receiving low-dose prophylactic platelet transfusions resulted in this RCT being stopped. Whether this finding was due to chance or represents a real difference requires further investigation. These clinical studies are registered on (http://www.clinicaltrials.gov) as NCT00420914.
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