Plasma Transfusion Demystified: A Review of the Key Factors Influencing the Response to Plasma Transfusion

Academic Article


  • Many studies have suggested that inappropriate plasma usage is common. An important factor contributing to futile plasma administration in most patients is the nonlinear relationship between coagulation-factor levels and the volume of plasma transfused. In this review, a validated mathematical model and data from the literature will be used to illuminate 3 key properties of plasma transfusion. Those properties are as follows: the effect of plasma transfusion on international normalized ratio (INR) is transient; for the same volume of transfused plasma, a greater reduction in INR is observed at higher initial INRs; and the effect of plasma transfusion on INR correction (ie, the difference between initial and final INRs) diminishes as more plasma is transfused. Frequent misunderstanding of these properties may contribute to inappropriate plasma usage. Therefore, this review will assist physicians in navigating these common pitfalls. Stronger understanding of these principles may result in a reduction of inappropriate plasma transfusions, thus potentially enhancing patient safety and reducing healthcare costs.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bryan AW; Staley EM; Kennell T; Feldman AZ; Williams LA; Pham HP
  • Start Page

  • 108
  • End Page

  • 112
  • Volume

  • 48
  • Issue

  • 2