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3.  Transfusion-associated immunomodulation: Quantitative changes in cytokines as a measure of immune responsiveness after one time blood transfusion in neurosurgery patients 
Very few studies in humans have investigated the laboratory evidences suggestive of transfusion-associated immunologic changes. In this prospective study, we examined the effects of perioperative blood transfusion on immune response, by measuring various cytokines production, namely, interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), interleukin-10 (IL-10), and Fas Ligand (FasL). A total of 40 patients undergoing neurosurgery were randomly allocated into four groups: (a) no transfusion, (b) allogeneic non-leukofiltered transfusion, (c) prestorage leukofiltered transfusion, (d) autologous transfusion. Samples were collected before operation (day 0) and postoperative days (post-op) 1, 7, and 14. IFN-γ and IL-10 production capacity was measured in supernatant after whole blood culture and serum FasL levels in patients’ sera using commercially available ELISA kits. Change in ratios (cytokine value after PHA stimulation/control value) of IFN-γ and IL-10 and percentage change from baseline for serum FasL levels across different transfusion groups during the sampling period were calculated. There was an increase in IL-10 production in patients receiving allogeneic non-leukofiltered transfusion on days 1 and 7 (mean ratio 2.22 (± 2.16), 4.12 (± 1.71), 4.46 (± 1.97) on days 0, 1, and 7, respectively). Similarly there was a significant (P<0.05) decrease in IFN-γ production in patients who received allogeneic non-leukofiltered red cell transfusion on post-op days 1, 7, and 14 (mean ratio 6.88 (± 4.56), 2.53 (± 0.95), 3.04 (± 1.38) and 2.58 (± 1.48) on day 0, 1, 7, and 14, respectively). Serum FasL production was increased across all patients till 7th day except for ‘no transfusion’ group and this increase was most significant in the non-leukofiltered group. We conclude that one time transfusion leads to quantitative changes in levels of these cytokines largely through interplay of Th2/Th1 pathways in allogeneic nonleukofiltered blood transfusion; however, soluble mediators like FasL which are also present in autologous and leukofiltered blood products may contribute toward minor immunologic effect in these settings.
doi:10.4103/0973-6247.67021
PMCID: PMC2937301  PMID: 20859504
Cytokines production; immunologic changes; leukofiltration; soluble mediators; transfusion
4.  The external quality assessment scheme: Five years experience as a participating laboratory 
Background and Aim:
Quality assurance in blood banking includes active participation in the external quality program. Such a program offers valuable benefits to patient care, their safety, and an overall quality of laboratory practices. In the year 2002, we participated in the External Quality Assessment Scheme (EQAS) under the World Health Organization (WHO), Bureau of Laboratory Quality Standards, Thailand.
Materials and Methods:
In the current study we evaluated our EQAS test result of the past five years, from 2003 to 2007. Test results of all blood samples such as ABO grouping, D typing, antibody screening, antibody identification, and transfusion transmitted infection (TTI) testing were analyzed and documented.
Results:
Discordant results in one or more instances were observed with antibody identification, weak D testing, and tests for anti-HIV1/2 and HBsAg. Twice we failed to detect the ‘anti-Mia’ antibody in the issued sample and that could be attributed to the absence of the corresponding antigen in the used cell panel. HBsAg was missed due to its critically low titer in the serum and the comparatively low sensitivity of our Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) test kit.
Conclusion:
All these failures in the last five years have helped us to significantly improve our transfusion service in terms of performance evaluation, patient care and safety issues, and the overall quality of laboratory practices. We therefore recommend all laboratories and hospitals to participate in the EQAS program, which will definitely help them to improve from what they learn.
doi:10.4103/0973-6247.59388
PMCID: PMC2847341  PMID: 20376263
External quality assessment scheme; quality control; quality assurance

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