Previous studies of changes in immune function in platelet donors have investigated subjects who were undergoing plateletpheresis using older equipment that is no longer in general use. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the effect of long-term platelet donation on lymphocyte numbers and subsets and plasma protein concentrations in platelet donors using newer cell separators. Three groups included in the study were nondonor controls (n = 27), long-term whole blood donors (n = 29), and long-term platelet donors (n = 20). Using a cross-sectional analysis, lymphocyte numbers and subsets were determined and compared among the three groups. Plasma concentrations of total protein, globulin, albumin, and IgG were also compared. Among the three groups there were no significant differences in total white blood cell counts, percentage or absolute number of lymphocytes, or percentage or absolute number of lymphocyte subsets. Serum total protein, globulin, albumin, and IgG concentrations of platelet donors were within normal ranges. These data support the current Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and American Association of Blood Banks' standards for the frequency of platelet donation allowed and monitoring required for plateletpheresis donors. Furthermore, these data indicate that the FDA could eliminate the requirement for the warning in informed consents about lymphocyte depletion in platelet donors.
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