Thrombocytopenia and Platelet Transfusions in Patients with Cancer
Platelet transfusions are a critical component of the supportive care for patients receiving intensive therapy for hematologic
malignancies. The platelet count “triggering” prophylactic transfusion has decreased over the years, and studies comparing
a prophylactic versus a therapeutic transfusion approach are in progress. The evidence supporting the need for platelet transfusions
prior to different invasive procedures is reviewed. Lastly, studies evaluating the use of thrombopoietic stimulating agents
to reduce hemorrhage and decrease the need for platelet transfusions are discussed. To date, there is no evidence that this
approach is of clinical utility.