Altered timing of riboflavin and ultraviolet light pathogen inactivation improves platelet in vitro quality

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The platelet (PLT) storage lesion is in part caused by the collection and/or production process. Pathogen inactivation (PI) further accelerates its development leading to a reduced in vitro PLT functionality and hence quality. Although the treatment of PLT concentrates (PCs) with riboflavin and ultraviolet light PI should occur within 22 hours of collection, in this study the impact of treatment timing on in vitro PLT quality was investigated.


Apheresis PCs were PI treated on the day of production or on Days 1, 3, or 4 of storage or left untreated as control. A panel of in vitro variables was used to monitor quality throughout 7-day storage, including metabolism, PLT activation, and release of microparticles. Changes in phosphorylation profiles of proteins in the lysate and levels of PLT factor 4, thrombospondin, and epidermal growth factor (EGF) in the releasate were analyzed by immunoblots or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.


By Day 7 of storage, units illuminated on Day 4 showed a smaller impact of the PI process than units treated on the day of production or one day after on PLT quality such as PLT activation; metabolic activity; microvesicle and EGF release; and phosphorylation of p38, ERK, and HSP27. PCs treated on Day 3 of storage displayed an intermediate effect.


The timing of PI treatment of PCs influences in vitro PLT quality. Based on these results, timing recommendations should be reconsidered. If PI is applied, inventory management in blood banks might improve with a more flexible collection and treatment regime.

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