Italian daily platelet transfusion practice for haematological patients undergoing high dose chemotherapy with or without stem cell transplantation: A survey by the GIMEMA Haemostasis and Thrombosis Working Party

Valerio De Stefano, Sergio Storti, Giuseppe Tagariello, Giancarlo Castaman, Anna Falanga, Rita Santoro, Mariasanta Napolitano, Dino Veneri, Marco Basso, Laura Candiotto, Cristina Tassinari, Augusto B. Federici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background. Following high-dose chemotherapy/bone marrow transplantation, patients are routinely, prophylactically transfused with platelet concentrates (PC) if they have a platelet count ≤10×109/L or higher in the presence of risk factors for bleeding. However, whether such transfusions are necessary in clinically stable patients with no bleeding, or whether a therapeutic transfusion strategy could be sufficient and safe, is still debated. Materials and methods. The GIMEMA Haemostasis and Thrombosis Working Party sent a questionnaire to Italian haematology departments to survey several aspects of daily platelet transfusion practice, such as the cut-off platelet count for transfusion, the evaluation of refractoriness and the type of PC administered. Results. The questionnaire was answered by 18 out of 31 centres (58%). A total of 23,162 PC were transfused in 2,396 patients in 2013. The vast majority of centres (95%) transfused PC according to Italian and international guidelines; only a few transfused always at platelet counts ≤20×109/L. The broad agreement on platelet count cut-off for transfusion (≤10×109/L) was not confirmed when the World Health Organization (WHO) bleeding score was considered: only a third of centres (33%) used transfusions as recommended when the bleeding grade was ≥2. Platelet refractoriness was poorly monitored and most centres (89%) evaluated, mostly empirically (67%), response to transfusion only 24 hours later. Thirty percent of centres transfused platelets in asymptomatic refractory patients. Discussion. Although most Italian haematology departments transfuse PC according to Italian and international guidelines, our survey shows that in routine daily practice physicians do not comply closely with the WHO recommendations on platelet transfusions and monitoring platelet refractoriness. This causes excessive platelet transfusions, with a resulting increase of costs and waste of public health resources.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-526
Number of pages6
JournalBlood Transfusion
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Bleeding
  • Bone marrow transplantation
  • Hematology
  • High-dose chemotherapy
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Platelet transfusion
  • Prophylaxis

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Italian daily platelet transfusion practice for haematological patients undergoing high dose chemotherapy with or without stem cell transplantation: A survey by the GIMEMA Haemostasis and Thrombosis Working Party'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this