The use of anti-D to improve post-transfusion platelet response: a randomized trial
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Patients undergoing induction chemotherapy for acute leukaemia often become refractory to platelet transfusions. Increased clearance of transfused platelets due to alloimmune destruction has been identified as one of the primary mechanisms contributing to this refractory state. We performed a double-blind randomized trial to determine whether the administration of anti-D to Rh-positive individuals could prevent the refractory state and improve post-transfusion platelet response. Rh-positive patients with acute leukaemia undergoing induction chemotherapy and requiring platelet transfusions were allocated to weekly intravenous anti-D (20 micrograms/kg) or placebo. Platelets and red cell concentrates were administered according to standardized transfusion guidelines. Outcome measures included platelet transfusion utilization, red cell utilization, platelet recovery 18-24 h post-infusion, and the percentage of patients refractory to platelet transfusion. There were 43 patients studied: 21 received anti-D and 22 saline placebo. The mean number of platelet concentrates required per day of observation was 0.59 (SD 0.22) in the anti-D group and 0.61 (SD 0.22) in the placebo group, P = 0.86. No difference was detected between groups in terms of platelet recovery post-infusion, refractoriness to platelet transfusion or frequency of infection (P = 0.97). Red cell concentrate utilization was significantly increased in the anti-D group compared to the placebo group, 0.58 units per day versus 0.37 units per day respectively, P = 0.005. We conclude that the use of anti-D did not improve post-transfusion platelet response in Rh positive patients with acute leukaemia, but did result in an increased need for red cell transfusion.
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