Gaps in Current Blood Safety Strategies

The most common method used to prevent TA-GVHD is gamma irradiation. Blood components are exposed to a typical gamma irradiation dose of 2,500 cGy, equalling an inactivation of 5-6 logs of T-cells1, and then selectively transfused into patients most at risk for TA-GVHD. Though proven effective, gamma irradiation has demonstrated a limited safety margin with a rapid decrease in T-cell inactivation correlating with a modest decrease in gamma irradiation dose. In fact, TA-GVHD has been reported in transfusion recipients who received blood components irradiated with 1,500 cGy.2 Another method for reducing lymphocytes in donated blood is leukoreduction; however, this has not been established as a reliable method to prevent TA-GVHD.3

The INTERCEPT™ Blood System offers a comprehensive approach to inactivating pathogens as well as leukocytes. INTERCEPT has been demonstrated as equivalent to gamma irradiation for the prevention of TA-GVHD (CE Mark claim).


1.Corash and L Lin, Novel processes for inactivation of leukocytes to prevent transfusion-associated graft-versus-host disease, Bone Marrow Transplantation (2004) 33, 1–7
2.Lowenthal RM, et al., Transfusion-associated graft-versus-host disease: report of an occurrence following the administration of irradiated blood, Transfusion (1993) 33, 524-529
3.Akahoshi M, et al., A case of transfusion-associated graft-versus-host disease not prevented by white cell-reduction filters, Transfusion (1992) 32, 169