Unstimulated mononuclear cell (MNC) apheresis plays a role in the generation of donor lymphocytes (DLIs; healthy donors) and in extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP; patients). The new apheresis system Spectra Optia MNC has been shown in small studies to be capable of performing the desired cell collections, but larger data sets from real-life clinical apheresis procedures are lacking.

Study Design and Methods

Presented are comparative data from DLI collections randomly performed with either the new technology or a clinical standard technology, COBE Spectra MNC, as well as data from patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease undergoing MNC collections alternating between the two apheresis systems to generate products for ECP. Target cell yield and collection efficiency, product volume, nontarget cell contamination, platelet (PLT) attrition, and some process variables such as process volume and time were analyzed.


For most relevant apheresis outcomes, differences between the devices were at best marginal. Spectra Optia MNC collections in patients, but not in donors, took 10% longer to achieve the target process volume. Not unexpectedly, given previous observations for granulocyte–colony-stimulating factor–stimulated leukapheresis, the novel device collected smaller products with less red blood cell contamination. PLT attrition with Spectra Optia MNC was markedly lower in donors. ECP apheresis outcome variability was, to a significant degree, donor dependent, irrespective of the device used.


Based on more than 200 unstimulated apheresis procedures, we conclude that both apheresis systems are safe, robust, and equally suitable for unstimulated MNC collections. Both can be successfully run with manufacturer-recommended settings and algorithms.