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BACKGROUND: Because single-donor plateletpheresis concentrates now account for a large percentage of PLT concentrates, the PLT quality of individual donations is increasingly important. There has been little previous work on PLT function in blood donors.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of defective PLT function among 100 healthy UK PLT donors on 3 consecutive donation days. Citrated blood samples were taken before plateletpheresis. High-shear PLT function testing was performed by a PLT function analyzer (PFA-100, Dade Behring), within both collagen-ADP (CADP) and collagen-epinephrine (CEPI) cartridges.

RESULTS: Sixteen percent of PLT donors (mainly over the 3 donating days) had prolonged CEPI closure times (CTs) only, indicative of an aspirin-like pattern; 9 percent had a severe defect with prolonged CEPI CTs between 200 and 300 seconds, and 4 percent had maximal CEPI CTs of greater than 300 seconds. The majority of prolonged CEPI CTs appeared transient in nature.

CONCLUSION: PLT dysfunction as detected by the PFA-100 is surprisingly common within a voluntary PLT donor population. The majority of CEPI defects appeared transient in nature and are indicative of surreptitious intake of cyclooxygenase inhibitors (e.g., aspirin). Identification of defective PLT function within donors would provide a simple means to eradicate defective PLTs from being clinically utilized.