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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 140-147

Platelet refractoriness

Department of Transfusion Medicine, Tata Memorial Hospital, HBNI, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. B Sunil Rajadhyaksha
Department of Transfusion Medicine, Tata Memorial Hospital, HBNI, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/GJTM.GJTM_45_19

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Platelet transfusion support is extensively required for hemato-oncology patients who are multiply transfused. Platelet refractoriness can represent a significant clinical condition that complicates the platelet transfusion support in such patients. It remains a challenge associated with an increased bleeding risk, longer hospital stays, and increased morbidity and mortality. Causes for refractoriness are broadly divided into nonimmune and immune causes. Approximately two-thirds of refractory episodes are due to nonimmune factors while one-third are due to immune factors. Common formulae to assess platelet refractoriness include corrected count increment (CCI), posttransfusion platelet increment, and percentage platelet recovery. Measurement of CCI is one of the best parameters to differentiate between immune and nonimmune causes. In nonimmune factors which are associated with increased platelet consumption, treating the underlying cause and increasing the frequency of transfusion should be considered. However, in immune factors which are due to increased destruction of platelets owing to alloimmunization, other strategies such as ABO-identical/ABO-compatible fresh platelets, human leukocyte antigen-matched platelets, and crossmatched platelet transfusions should be considered. The newer approach includes epitope-matched platelet transfusion which is still in amateur stage. The strategies in the prevention of alloimmunization include leukoreduction of blood components, reducing donor exposure by providing single-donor platelets, and providing ABO-compatible platelets from the beginning of the treatment. This review will address the causes of platelet refractoriness and practical approach to the diagnosis, management, and its prevention.

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