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BACKGROUND:  The SPRINT trial examined efficacy and safety of photochemically treated (PCT) platelets (PLTs). PCT PLTs were equivalent to untreated (control) PLTs for prevention of bleeding. Transfused PLT dose and corrected count increments (CIs), however, were lower and transfusion intervals were shorter for PCT PLTs, resulting in more PCT than control transfusions. PLT dose was analyzed to determine the impact of the number of PLTs transfused on transfusion requirements.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS:  Transfusion response was compared for patients with all doses of ≥3.0 × 1011 and the complementary subset of patients with any dose of fewer than 3.0 × 1011. Analyses included comparison of bleeding, number of PLT and red blood cell (RBC) transfusions, transfusion intervals, and CIs between PCT and control groups within each PLT dose subset.

RESULTS:  Mean PLT dose per transfusion in the PCT group was lower than in the control group (3.7 × 1011 vs. 4.0 × 1011; p < 0.001). More PCT patients received PLT doses of fewer than 3.0 × 1011 (n = 190) than control patients (n = 118; p < 0.01). Comparisons of patients receiving comparable PLT doses showed no significant differences between PCT and control groups for bleeding or number of PLT or RBC transfusions; however, transfusion intervals and CIs were significantly better for the control group.

CONCLUSIONS:  When patients were supported with comparable doses of PCT or conventional PLTs, the mean number of PLT transfusions was similar. Lower CIs and shorter transfusion intervals for PCT PLTs suggest that some PLT injury may occur during PCT. This injury does not result in a detectable increase in bleeding, however.