Why is leukocyte reduction needed?

It was discovered in the 1950s that leukocytes present in blood sensitize transfusion recipients, resulting in Nonhemolytic FebrileTransfusion Reaction (NHFTR). Since then, allogeneic leukocytes in various blood components have been shown to be involved in a number of adverse responses in recipients.

The following table shows the relationship between the number of residual leukocytes and adverse reactions. Side effects can be avoided if residual leukocytes are reduced to around 106, which most researchers currently agree is the target.

Relationship between the number of residual leukocytes and adverse reactions

Filtration is the best method for leukocyte reduction.

Methods of leukocyte reduction include centrifugation, washing, freezing, buffy coat removal and filtration. Efficiency varies in each method.

Sepacell filters apply selective filtration technology combining depth and adsorption filtration to achieve the highest efficiency. Depth filters are usually composed of densely packed fibers to remove particles, either by adherence or absorption onto the fibers, or by entrapment between fibers as particles pass through the filter.

Adsorption filters utilize the properties of white blood cells, which selectively adhere to filter fibers.

When is leukocyte reduced blood transfusion recommended?

Leukocyte-free blood transfusion is recommended in:

  • Thalassemia major
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Leukemia
  • Transfusion-transmitted infection
  • Patients awaiting organ transplantation
  • Prevention of platelet refractoriness in thrombocytopenia
  • Multiply or chronically transfused patients

Sepacell is a trademark of Asahi Kasei Medical Co., Ltd.
Sepacell filter units are manufactured by Asahi Kasei Medical Co., Ltd.

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Terminology used in the field of blood transfusion.

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