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. 2016 Oct;140(10):1092-7.
doi: 10.5858/arpa.2015-0167-CP.

Survey of Irradiation Practice for the Prevention of Transfusion-Associated Graft-versus-Host Disease


Survey of Irradiation Practice for the Prevention of Transfusion-Associated Graft-versus-Host Disease

Aaron E Pritchard et al. Arch Pathol Lab Med. .


Context: -Transfusion-associated graft-versus-host disease is a rare, often fatal complication of cellular blood product transfusion. The requirement that at-risk groups receive irradiated products reduces the incidence of transfusion-associated graft-versus-host disease. A comprehensive survey of irradiation practices has not been performed since 1989; meanwhile, new indications for irradiation have emerged.

Objective: -To assess current irradiation practices at College of American Pathologists member institutions. Changes in irradiation practice indicated by comparing results of a survey of irradiation practices in 1989 with those of a survey performed in 2014 may reveal how the field has developed and what areas (if any) remain to be improved.

Design: -A supplemental College of American Pathologists survey was sent out with questions regarding irradiation practices for specific conditions and circumstances. The questions included conditions for which irradiation is generally considered required for the prevention of transfusion-associated graft-versus-host disease as well as those not considered to be a special risk.

Results: -An average of 2100 organizations responded to each question regarding their irradiation practices. Irradiation for transfusion from blood relatives, human leukocyte antigen-matched products, preterm infants, and Hodgkin disease were the most common indications cited. A few organizations had universal irradiation, whereas others irradiated products by floor/unit or by service.

Conclusions: -For some at-risk populations irradiation of cellular blood products is more common than in 1989, whereas for others this practice has been reduced. Although gains have been made since the last national survey of irradiation practices, work remains to eliminate the possibility of transfusion-associated graft-versus-host disease from known at-risk populations.

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