Background: Apheresis technology has made tremendous progress up to the development of automated blood component collection, which offers increased efficiency in donor blood use, but the concern about the contact of donor blood with artificial surfaces remains. Activation of the hemostatic system is a major issue in this context and is controversial. The aim of this study was to estimate the effect of apheresis on continuous thrombin generation (TG), representing a new tool to examine the overall function of the plasmatic clotting system.
Study design and methods: Twenty-six voluntary blood donors, fulfilling the law requirement for apheresis donation, participated in the study. Two units of platelets (6 x 10(11)) and 1 unit of red cells (250 mL; hematocrit level, 80%) were collected using two types of cell separators (Amicus, Fenwal, Inc.; and Trima Accel, Gambro BCT). Each donor underwent collection on both apheresis systems with at least 8 weeks in between. Samples of blood were collected before, immediately after, and 48 hours after apheresis. TG was measured using a slow fluorogenic substrate by means of calibrated automated thrombography (CAT).
Results: CAT data changed only slightly, and no significant changes were seen before, immediately after, and 48 hours after apheresis (p > 0.05). The variables did not differ significantly between the two different apheresis systems (p > 0.05).
Conclusion: Using a CAT-based technique, no change in variables of continuous TG were observed, suggesting that multicomponent blood collection did not lead to severe alterations in the hemostatic system of the donors.