Platelet concentrates from buffy coats: Improved conditions for preparation and evaluation in routine clinical use

P. Rebulla, F. Bertolini, L. Porretti, F. Marangoni, C. Smacchia, M. Marconi, D. Riccardi, V. Sirelson, M. Pappalettera, G. Sirchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since 1990, platelet concentrates prepared by soft centrifugation of buffy-coat pools diluted with a glucose-free, commercially available crystalloid solution (BC-PC) are the first choice product for all platelet recipients in our institution. Numerous in vitro and in vivo observations from our own and other laboratories indicate that BC-PC compare favorably to PC prepared from platelet-rich plasma (PRP). In the present in vitro study we evaluated traditional and bottom-and-top bags and modified centrifugation conditions with the aim of increasing in vitro platelet yield in BC-PC. This was 14-18% higher compared with our previous protocol when prolonged centrifugation and bottom-and-top bags were used. In addition, we evaluated post-transfusion platelet count increments in 42 unselected adult hematological patients routinely transfused with 703 1-5 day-old BC-PC pools. Transfusion data were managed with PLATELET, an MS-DOS compatible program which includes automated calculation of transfusion efficacy and periodic patient reports. Mean pre-, 1 h and 24 h post-transfusion platelet counts were 16, 38 and 28 × 109/L, respectively. Mean l h and 24 h post-transfusion platelet count increments, expressed as percentage of expected, were 40 and 24%, respectively. These data were similar to those obtained previously in 189 unselected hematological patients given 2432 PRP-PC transfusions (mean 1 h post-transfusion increment 46% of expected). The present in vitro study confirms that similar platelet yields can be obtained with the BC and PRP methods. In vivo findings show that also in routine conditions post-transfusion increments of PRP-PC and BC-PC are similar. These observations further support previous studies indicating that, due to the better biochemical and metabolic conditions of BC-PC, the use of BC for platelet procurement is a good alternative to methods based on PRP. Large-scale cost analyses are warranted to validate this conclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-46
Number of pages6
JournalTransfusion Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Hematology


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