Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Should plasma be transfused prophylactically before invasive procedures?

Holland, Lorne; Sarode, Ravindra

doi: 10.1097/01.moh.0000245688.47333.b6
Transfusion medicine

Purpose of review Plasma transfusion to correct abnormal coagulation test results prior to an invasive procedure is a common clinical practice; however, there are no evidence-based guidelines. This review aims to analyze the most recent publications to either support or disprove such practice.

Recent findings Due to heightened awareness of transfusion-related acute lung injury and volume overload in susceptible patients, clinicians are increasingly questioning the validity of prophylactic plasma transfusion. Recently, several articles, reviews and clinical studies (although small and poorly designed) have shown no benefit of prophylactic plasma transfusion in either correcting abnormal coagulation tests or reducing perceived risk of hemorrhage.

Summary The use of sensitive reagents (especially for prothrombin time) has resulted in increased incidence of abnormal preprocedure coagulation screening test results – tests that are not designed to assess risk of bleeding in patients without a history of bleeding. Transfusion of plasma prior to an invasive procedure to correct mild to moderate abnormal test results neither corrects the abnormality nor reduces the perceived bleeding risk.

Department of Pathology, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA

Correspondence to Ravindra Sarode MD, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd, CS3.114, Dallas, TX 75390-9073, USA Tel: +1 214 648 7887; fax: +1 214 648 8037; e-mail:

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.