Effects on donors of repeated leukocyte losses during plateletpheresis

J Clin Apher. 1994;9(2):130-4. doi: 10.1002/jca.2920090208.


All blood components collected by automated cytapheresis contain donor leukocytes. The possibility that repeated cytapheresis donation might lead to clinically important leukocyte losses and immunodeficiency has been a long-standing concern. Although convincing data do not exist to substantiate this concern, it is common practice to limit the number of annual cytapheresis donations per donor and to monitor donors for developing lymphocytopenia. Clinically significant immunodeficiency is unlikely to occur unless donors lose > 1 x 10(11) lymphocytes within a few weeks period of time or unless donor lymphocyte counts fall persistently to < 0.5 x 10(9)/L. Each plateletpheresis procedure, when performed using modern cell separators that are designed to produce a relatively "pure" platelet concentrate, leads to the loss of 1.0 x 10(6) to 5.0 x 10(7) leukocytes. Thus, automated plateletpheresis as performed in 1994 is extremely unlikely to cause clinically significant lymphocyte depletion and consequent immunodeficiency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Donors*
  • Humans
  • Immunity / physiology
  • Leukocyte Count*
  • Plateletpheresis / adverse effects*