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BACKGROUND: The demand for plasma for manufacturing intravenous immunoglobulin and other plasma derivatives is increasing. A prospective study was conducted to determine whether up to 840 mL of plasma could be safely and effectively collected in conjunction with saline infusion during plasmapheresis.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Ninety-one plasma donors were enrolled in a modified 3 x 3 crossover study to assess the equivalence of three plasma collection methods: 750 mL of plasma with no saline (control, Method 1), 840 mL of plasma with a 250-mL saline infusion during and at the end of the donation (Method 2), and 800 mL of plasma with a 500-mL saline infusion at the end of the donation (Method 3). The primary efficacy endpoint was the total protein concentration of the collected plasma. Secondary efficacy endpoints were immunoglobulin (Ig)G and Factor (F)VIII plasma concentration and donors' acceptance of the new procedures. Safety was determined from the adverse event (AE) rate.

RESULTS: The total protein, IgG, and FVIII concentrations in plasma collected under Methods 2 and 3 were significantly lower than those in plasma collected under Method 1 (p < 0.0001). These variables were also significantly lower in plasma collected under Method 2 compared to Method 3. During the study, 75 AEs were recorded, 73 of which were mild to moderate. Significantly more donors (31%) preferred Method 2 compared to Method 3 (p = 0.006).

CONCLUSIONS: Saline infusion during plasmapheresis led to hemodilution of plasma proteins. However, the benefits to donor safety and satisfaction are compelling reasons to implement saline infusion during plasmapheresis.

Copyright (C) 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.