Blood Transfusion - 1 2017 (January - February)
Large volume leukapheresis is efficient and safe even in small children up to 15 kg body weight
Authors:  Ines Bojanic, Sanja Mazic, Ljubica Rajic, Gordana Jakovljevic, Jasminka Stepan, Branka Golubic Cepulic
Pages:  85-92
To cite this article:  Blood Transfus 2017; 15: 85-92
Doi:  10.2450/2016.0151-15
Published online:  13/01/2016

Background. The collection of peripheral blood stem cells, although now a routine procedure, is still a challenge in low body weight children because of specific technical and clinical issues. For paediatric patients it is crucial to obtain an adequate number of CD34+ cells with the minimum number of procedures: this can be done using large volume leukapheresis (LVL).
Material and methods. We analysed the efficacy and safety of 54 autologous LVL performed in 50 children (33 [66%] males and 17 [34%] females), median age 2 years (range, 1-5) and median body weight 12 kg (range, 6-15). The procedures were performed with a COBE Spectra previously primed with red blood cells; ACD-A solution and heparin were used as anticoagulants.
Results. The target CD34+ cell dose (≥5×10/kg body weight) were collected with one LVL in 46 (92%) patients, while four (8%) patients needed another procedure. All our LVL were well tolerated. Side effects were observed in five (9.2%) patients and one procedure had to be discontinued because of catheter-related haemorrhage. The platelet count decreased significantly (p<0.001) after each procedure but without bleeding or need for transfusion support.
Discussion. Our experience confirms that LVL is efficient and safe even in small children, if the procedure is adjusted considering the weight and age of child. The most important factors are good venous access, adequate preparation of the child's electrolyte status, and surroundings in which the small child as well as parents feel comfortable, and can tolerate the procedure better. Although a median platelet loss of 50% can be expected, LVL is safe and reduces the overall number of procedures required. It can be recommended for peripheral blood stem cell collection even in small body weight children with malignant diseases, particularly those who mobilise low numbers of CD34+ cells.

Keywords: apheresis, peripheral blood stem cell collection, paediatric patients.
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