The potential impact of platelet growth factors in transfusion medicine

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The long-sought platelet growth factor, thrombopoietin, has been identified, the gene cloned, and the molecule is now available for clinical use. Thrombopoietin may be useful in transfusion medicine by: 1) reducing the demand for platelets by decreasing the severity and duration of thrombocytopenia, 2) reducing the time required for platelet donation, thus making more platelet donors available, 3) increasing the number of platelets that can be collected from existing platelet donors, 4) increasing the yield of peripheral blood stem cells through synergy with other hematopoietic growth factors, 5) expanding progenitor cells ex vivo through its effect on early progenitors, and 6) producing platelets in ex vivo culture systems.

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