Abstract. Blood transfusions are associated with clinical phenomena which are attributable to immune suppression. Since suppression of immune function is associated with a high risk of spontaneous malignancies, we studied T cell subsets and natural killer (NK) cytotoxicity in colorectal cancer patients and correlated the results with patients' transfusion histories. Twelve percent (14) of the 115 patients had been transfused an average of 19 years previously. Recipients of blood transfusions had low levels of peripheral lymphocytes (p=0.191), T cells (p=0.015), helper cells (p=0.016) and suppressor cells (p=0.2651) compared to previously untransfused patients. NK cytotoxicity was also significantly reduced in transfusion recipients although NK cell numbers were comparable in both groups. These results support previous studies indicating that blood transfusions cause lifelong immune modulation in the recipient. Since blood transfusions have numerous beneficial effects and immune modulation is often beneficial, longitudinal studies are necessary to define the lifetime risks and benefits.
|Number of pages||5|
|State||Published - Mar 1989|