Reduced use of allogeneic platelets through high-yield perioperative autologous plateletpheresis and reinfusion


  • Loan of equipment courtesy of Terumo BCT. Intramural funds were received from the Division of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, Duke University Medical Center.



Intraoperative autologous platelet (PLT) collection as part of a multimodal blood conservation program carries a Class IIa recommendation from the Societies of Thoracic Surgeons and Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists, but achieving a suitable PLT yield limits its application. A novel, autologous, intraoperative, high-yield plateletpheresis collection program was established and retrospectively analyzed to identify potential improvements over previously reported plateletpheresis protocols.

Study Design and M-ethods

Targeting complex cardiothoracic surgery patients without recent anti-PLT agents, thrombocytopenia, or severe anemia, the program aimed to achieve a PLT yield of at least one standard apheresis unit (3.0 × 1011) within 60 to 90 minutes and using an automated plateletpheresis device (Trima, Terumo BCT). Anesthetized and invasively monitored patients underwent plateletpheresis via a large-bore, indwelling central line placed for the surgery. Collection-related data for quality control purposes and subsequent PLT transfusion requirements were analyzed and reported.


Forty-two patients donated autologous PLTs between 2011 and 2012. PLT yield was 4.5 (3.9-5.0) × 1011, which significantly exceeds previously reported yields, and procedure duration was 53.2 (48.4-57.9) minutes. As anticipated, postcollection PLT count decreased from 268 (242-293) × 109 to 182 (163-201) × 109/L; hypocalcemia was minimized by infusion of 1 g of CaCl2. Autologous PLT yield was inversely correlated with allogeneic PLT use, and avoidance of allogeneic PLT transfusion was increased when the autologous yield was the equivalent of 2 or more apheresis units.


High-yield, intraoperative autologous PLT collection is achievable using an automated plateletpheresis device. Initial experience shows a reduction in reliance on allogeneic PLTs for complex cardiothoracic surgery.