AABB Authorises Use of INTERCEPT™ to Reduce Risk of TA-GVHD

From now on, US blood centres which submitted a request for variance can rely on INTERCEPT™ pathogen reduction instead of irradiation to reduce the risk of transfusion-associated graft versus host disease (TA-GVHD). AABB has granted the requests of hospitals and blood centres to use INTERCEPT, and will issue an interim standard to permit its use, eliminating the need to apply for a variance to use INTERCEPT.

AABB’s Standards for Blood Banks and Transfusion Services are followed by most US blood centres and major medical institutions, as well as a growing number of international blood centres. These standards require that patients identified as at risk for TA-GVHD must receive blood components which have been processed to inactivate T-cells, as these cells may mount an immune response against the transfusion recipient's lymphoid tissue, causing TA-GVHD.

Up until now, T-cells have been inactivated via irradiation. However, a thorough review of efficacy, safety and haemovigilance data on INTERCEPT convinced AABB's Blood Banks and Transfusion Services Standards Program Unit to permit the replacement of irradiation with the INTERCEPT Blood System. Internationally, the first variances of this kind were issued in 2013 to AABB-accredited blood centres in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.