Could Microparticles Be the Universal Quality Indicator for Platelet Viability and Function?

High quality means good fitness for the intended use. Research activity regarding quality measures for platelet transfusions has focused on platelet storage and platelet storage lesion. Thus, platelet quality is judged from the manufacturer’s point of view and regulated to ensure consistency and stability of the manufacturing process. Assuming that fresh product is always superior to aged product, maintaining in vitro characteristics should preserve high quality. However, despite the highest in vitro quality standards, platelets often fail in vivo. This suggests we may need different quality measures to predict platelet performance after transfusion. Adding to this complexity, platelets are used clinically for very different purposes: platelets need to circulate when given as prophylaxis to cancer patients and to stop bleeding when given to surgery or trauma patients. In addition, the emerging application of platelet-rich plasma injections exploits the immunological functions of platelets. Requirements for quality of platelets intended to prevent bleeding, stop bleeding, or promote wound healing are potentially very different. Can a single measurable characteristic describe platelet quality for all uses? Here we present microparticle measurement in platelet samples, and its potential to become the universal quality characteristic for platelet production, storage, viability, function, and compatibility.

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