White blood cell inactivation after treatment with riboflavin and ultraviolet light.

PMID 20529002


Functional white blood cells (WBCs) in blood components may be responsible for a number of adverse transfusion effects, including transfusion-associated graft-versus-host disease (TA-GVHD), alloimmunization, and alloimmune platelet (PLT) refractoriness. TA-GVHD occurs when functional lymphocytes are transfused into a patient who is unable to mount an immune response to the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) due to HLA compatibility or immunosuppression. Alloantibodies against HLA antigens on donor WBCs and PLTs are the major cause of refractoriness to PLT transfusions in patients receiving repeated blood transfusions. Attempts to reduce these undesirable effects have included leukoreduction filters and gamma irradiation. Studies have shown that exposure of PLT concentrates to riboflavin and light (Mirasol pathogen reduction technology [PRT], CaridianBCT Biotechnologies) causes irreparable modifications of nucleic acids that result in inactivation of a wide range of pathogens as well as inhibition of the immunologic responses mediated by WBCs present in PLT concentrates. This article summarizes these studies and also reports on additional findings from the Trial to Reduce Alloimmunization to Platelets (TRAP) and Mirasol Clinical Evaluation (MIRACLE) trials. Data from in vitro studies and this clinical trial suggest that PRT treatment may be as effective as gamma irradiation in preventing TA-GVHD and more effective than leukoreduction in preventing alloimmunization.