Background: Despite the introduction of new broad-spectrum antibiotics and antifungal therapies over the past decade, infections remains the most frequent cause of death in patients with neutropenia. The aim of this study is to assess the effect and safety of granulocyte transfusions (GTX) for the treatment of severe life-threatening infections in pediatric patients with febrile neutropenia or defective granulocyte functions.
Methods: In this study, 35 pediatric patients with high-risk febrile neutropenia or defective granulocyte functions, who received 111 GTX, were included. GTX were used for 3 consecutive days during infections not responding to antimicrobial therapy.
Results: The mean granulocyte content per concentrate was 27.4×109 (min: 4.2×109 to max: 68.4×109) depending on donor's white blood cell count before harvest. GTX were well tolerated in all patients. The infection-related survival rate was 82.4% and overall survival rate was 77.1% at day 30. The overall survival rate was 65.7% and 52% at 3 and 48 months, respectively.
Conclusions: GTX is safe and effective in controlling the life-threatening infections. Further randomized controlled studies with long-term follow-up are needed to assess the exact role of GTX in the outcome of patients with neutropenia and patients with defective granulocyte functions.