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Implementation of Buffy Coat Platelet Component Production: Comparison to Platelet-Rich Plasma Platelet Production

Background: Buffy coat (BC) production of platelets (PLTs) has been successfully used in Europe for more than two decades. Currently, Canadian Blood Services is implementing the BC method. This article summarizes results of the validation testing performed to qualify the process of PLT production from whole blood and compares the quality of PLTs produced in routine production by either the PLT-rich plasma method (PRP-PCs) or the BC method (BC-PCs).

Methods: Validation data included variables used for routine quality control (QC; pH, PLT count, volume, sterility, residual white blood cell count) as well as nonroutine testing of PLTs for PLT activation, metabolic changes during storage, and PLT responsiveness to hypotonic shock and the extent of shape change induced by adenosine 5′-diphosphate. BC-PCs were tested on Days 1 and 6. QC of production runs included the same routine tests performed on Day 6.

Results: PLTs produced by the BC method during validation and pilot implementation met all Canadian Standards Association standards with respect to yield, volume, pH, and leukoreduction. Additional validation testing indicated a moderate level of PLT storage lesion development. In comparison to PRP-PCs, in vitro variables of BC-PCs, either pH in this study, or other markers compared to the literature were better, suggesting that BC-PCs have less evidence of production-related damage and improved PLT quality during storage.

Conclusions: PLT concentrates produced from whole blood by the BC method after an overnight hold have laboratory variables suggestive of a higher quality than those concentrates produced by the PRP method

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