The authors declare no conflict of interest
State of the Art Review
Platelet transfusions: treatment options for hemorrhage secondary to thrombocytopenia
Article first published online: 17 FEB 2012
© Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society 2012
Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
Volume 22, Issue 1, pages 73–80, February 2012
How to Cite
Hux, B. D. and Martin, L. G. (2012), Platelet transfusions: treatment options for hemorrhage secondary to thrombocytopenia. Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, 22: 73–80. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-4431.2011.00706.x
- Issue published online: 17 FEB 2012
- Article first published online: 17 FEB 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 25 NOV 2011
- Manuscript Received: 1 NOV 2010
- primary bleeding disorder;
- transfusion medicine
To review current human and veterinary protocols for platelet transfusion triggers, available platelet transfusion products to support veterinary thrombocytopenic patients, and the advantages and disadvantages of each product.
Data from human and veterinary literature.
Human Data Synthesis
Prophylactic and therapeutic platelet transfusions are instrumental in managing human patients with thrombocytopenia. The platelet transfusion products used in human medicine consist of platelet concentrates, derived from pooled random donor platelets, or single-donor apheresis platelets. Historically, platelet transfusions in human medicine have been prophylactic in nature; however, recent research suggests changing from a prophylactic transfusion strategy to a therapeutic transfusion strategy may be safe for most patients. The optimal platelet transfusion trigger and the use of prophylactic verses therapeutic platelet transfusions are ever changing in human medicine.
Veterinary Data Synthesis
There have been many advances in platelet transfusion products, but fresh whole blood remains the most commonly used platelet transfusion product in veterinary medicine. New products such as lyophilized platelets and cryopreserved platelets offer the benefits of long shelf life, immediate availability, and higher concentration of platelets at smaller doses. Veterinary platelet transfusion guidelines are mostly extrapolated from human literature because data on veterinary platelet transfusions are lacking.
In veterinary medicine the most commonly available product for platelet transfusions is fresh whole blood, because of availability of blood donors and lack of a cost effective easily obtainable alternative. Cryopreserved and lyophilized platelets are promising new products being used in the treatment of hemorrhaging patients with thrombocytopenia. These products offer increased platelet concentrations at decreased volumes, longer storage shelf life, and decreased exposure to whole blood products. With the development of newer readily available products, platelet transfusion parameters, to include dose, platelet count trigger, presence of disease, and clinical signs, should be further evaluated in veterinary medicine.