An active haemovigilance programme characterizing the safety profile of 7437 platelet transfusions prepared with amotosalen photochemical treatment


: Lily Lin, Cerus Corporation, 2411 Stanwell Drive, Concord, CA 94520, USA E-mail:


Background  An active haemovigilance programme was implemented to survey adverse events (AE) associated with transfusion of platelets photochemically treated with amotosalen and ultraviolet A (PCT-PLT). The results of 5106 transfusions have already been reported. Here we report the results of an additional 7437 PCT-PLT transfusions.

Methods  The focus of this ongoing haemovigilance programme is to document all AEs associated with PCT-PLT transfusion. Data collected for AEs include: time of event after starting transfusion, clinical descriptions, vital signs, results from radiographs and bacterial cultures, event severity (Grade 0–4) and causal relationship to PCT-PLT transfusion.

Results  One thousand four hundred patients (mean 60 years, range 1–96) received PCT-PLT transfusions. The majority of the patients (53·4%) had haematology–oncology diseases and required conventional chemotherapy (44·8%) or stem cell transplantation (8·6%). Sixty-eight PCT-PLT transfusions were associated with AE. Acute transfusion reactions (ATR), classified as an AE possibly related, probably related, or related to PCT-PLT transfusions were infrequent (n = 55, 55/7437 = 0·7%) and most were of Grade 1 severity. Thirty-nine patients (39/1400 = 2·8%) experienced one or more ATRs. The most frequently reported signs/symptoms were chills, fever, urticaria, dyspnoea, nausea and vomiting. Five AEs were considered severe (≥ Grade 2); however, no causal relationship to PCT-PLT transfusion was found. Repeated exposure to PCT-PLT did not increase the likelihood of an ATR. No cases of transfusion-related acute lung injury and no deaths due to PCT-PLT transfusions were reported.

Conclusions  Routine transfusion of PCT-PLT is well-tolerated in a wide range of patients. ATRs related to PCT-PLT transfusion were infrequent and most were of mild severity.