Granulocyte transfusions have been increasingly given to hematology-oncology patients with disease-related or therapy-related neutropenia to prevent and treat bacterial and fungal infections. An updated Cochrane review of all published randomized controlled trials (11 trials with 653 patients) compared the incidence of mortality and infections in neutropenic patients who received prophylactic granulocyte transfusions compared to patients who did not. Although prophylactic granulocyte transfusions did not affect the risk of mortality, prophylactic granulocyte transfusions decreased the risk of bacterial and fungal infections, especially for patients who receive larger doses of at least 1.0 X 1010 granulocytes per day. However, the quality of evidence is low and the risk of serious adverse events could not be assessed because adverse events were not reported for all patients. Additional trials are needed to fully evaluate the efficacy of prophylactic granulocyte transfusions.
1. Estcourt LJ, Stanworth S, Doree C, Blanco P, Hopewell S, Trivella M, Massey E. Granulocyte transfusions for preventing infections in people with neutropenia or neutrophil dysfunction. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2015;6: CD005341.