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Effect and Safety of Granulocyte Transfusions in Pediatric Patients With Febrile Neutropenia or Defective Granulocyte Functions

Atay, Didem MD*; Ozturk, Gulyuz MD; Akcay, Arzu MD; Yanasik, Melek MSc§; Anak, Sema MD; Devecioglu, Omer MD

Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology: August 2011 - Volume 33 - Issue 6 - p e220–e225
doi: 10.1097/MPH.0b013e31821ffdf1
Online Articles: Original Articles

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.

*Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Okmeydani Education and Research Hospital

Department of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/BMT, Istanbul University, Istanbul School of Medicine

Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, Bakirkoy Maternity and Children's Education and Research Hospital

§Istanbul School of Medicine, Blood Bank, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Didem Atay, MD, Kartaltepe mah. Dost sok. Motif apt. No:5 D:11 Bakirkoy-Istanbul 34144, Turkey (e-mail:

Received October 22, 2010

Accepted April 15, 2011

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.