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August 1964

Platelet Therapy and Red Cell Defect In Aplastic Anemia

Arch Intern Med. 1964;114(2):278-283. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.03860080128013

Transfusions, adrenal corticosteroids, androgens, and splenectomy in the treatment of aplastic anemia have yielded generally unsatisfactory results.1-5 Although hemorrhage due to thrombocytopenia is the most common cause of death in aplastic anemia, platelet transfusions have not been commonly used. The possibility that continued administration of platelets may result in immunization of the recipient and finally refractoriness to transfusion has limited the use of platelet transfusions. However, in studies of repeated transfusions of fresh platelets from the same donor to patients with acute leukemia, only rarely was progressive resistance to platelets noted.6,7

The patient reported here received one to two platelet transfusions weekly for 14 months as prophylaxis and treatment of thrombocytopenia and hemorrhage, and the purpose of this report is to call attention to the efficacy of repeated platelet transfusions in this condition and to studies of the red cell life span during the recovery phase of his