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Immunologic changes after transfusion of autologous or allogeneic buffy coat-poor versus white cell-reduced blood to patients undergoing arthroplasty. I. Proliferative T-cell responses and the balance of helper and suppressor T cells

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Donor white cells (WBCs) contained in red cell (RBC) transfusions are thought to provoke down-regulation of T-cell-mediated immunity. This study investigated this topic in otherwise healthy patients receiving buffy coat-depleted or WBC-filtered RBCs and undergoing standardized perioperative management. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS:

Patients undergoing elective orthopedic surgery (primary hip and knee replacement surgery) were enrolled in a prospective study. Perioperative changes in T-cell proliferation (stimulation with phytohemagglutinin and mixed lymphocyte culture) and T-cell balance (T-lymphocytes, helper T cells, and suppressor T cells) were compared after random assignment to allogeneic buffy coat-depleted (Group 2, n = 8) or WBC-reduced RBC (Group 3, n = 11) transfusion regimens. Recipients of autologous buffy coat-depleted RBC transfusions (n = 15) served as controls (Group 1). RESULTS:

Compared to that in autologous transfusion recipients, alloantigen-induced T-cell proliferation was significantly reduced in recipients of allogeneic WBC-reduced RBCs (Day 3, p = 0.0274). After the transfusion of allogeneic buffy coat-depleted RBCs, a weak trend toward decreased T-cell proliferation was observed (p = 0.0933) and the numbers of CD4+ T cells were also significantly lower (Day 7, p = 0.0389). On Day 10, alloantigen-induced T-cell proliferation remained significantly below baseline after transfusion of WBC-reduced RBCs (p = 0.05), the numbers of CD3+ cells decreased in allogeneic RBC recipients (Group 2, p = 0.078; Group 3, p = 0.05), and those of CD8+ cells decreased significantly after the transfusion of allogeneic buffy coat-depleted RBCs (p = 0.0234) concomitant with an increased CD4:CD8 ratio (p = 0.0391). CONCLUSION:

Results of the present study confirm the hypothesis of impaired T-cell-mediated immunity after allogeneic transfusion.
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Keywords: BCD-RBC(s) = buffy coat-depleted RBC(s); MLC = mixed lymphocyte culture; MNC(s) = mononuclear cell(s); PHA = phytohemagglutinin; RBC(s) = red cell(s); WBC(s) = white cell(s)

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1999

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