Concentration of citrate anticoagulant in peripheral blood progenitor cell collections

S. R. Burger, S. K. Fautsch, D. F. Stroncek, J. Mccullough

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10 Scopus citations


Background: Peripheral blood progenitor cell (PBPC) collection by hemapheresis has become widely used in recent years. For anticoagulation during cytapheresis, citrate solutions, commonly ACD-A, are used, at a recommended anticoagulant-to-whole blood ratio of 1:11 to 1:12. Although the apheresis procedure is generally well tolerated, the most common patient complaints are attributable to transient hypocalcemia, which is a side effect of the citrate anticoagulant. Patients experiencing discomfort due to hypocalcemia are sometimes managed by a decrease in the flow rate of the anticoagulant. Case Reports: Two cases are reported in which seemingly minor reductions in the anticoagulant:whole blood ratio appeared to cause gelation of freezing solution prepared from plasma that was collected in addition to PBPCs for use in the cryopreservation of cells. In both cases, the final ratio of citrate anticoagulant to whole blood was less than 1:12. Gelation occurred when plasma collected under these conditions was used to prepare freezing solution. Conclusion: The addition of heparin to this plasma, or the addition of ACD-A to correct the anticoagulant:whole blood ratio, prevented the gelation of freezing solution, which suggests that coagulation activation in the autologous plasma specimen was implicated in the subsequent gelation. During cytapheresis for PBPC collection, citrate-containing anticoagulants should be used at the recommended ratio of 1:12, or with more anticoagulant than usual. Tolerance for a reduced concentration of citrate may be more limited than is generally appreciated. When plasma is collected in addition to PBPCs, heparin should be added to both the cells and the plasma as soon as possible after the collection. Patients undergoing PBPC and stem cell collection should be given supplemental calcium, rather than less anticoagulant, to alleviate the discomfort associated with citrate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)798-801
Number of pages4
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1996


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