Filtering Can Render Donated Blood CMV Seronegative

December 1, 1995

SEATTLE--Filtering donated blood to remove cytomegalovirus (CMV) proved effective in an NIH-funded study from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

SEATTLE--Filtering donated blood to remove cytomegalovirus (CMV)proved effective in an NIH-funded study from the Fred HutchinsonCancer Research Center.

The technique could be a boon to hospitals, which require largequantities of CMV-negative blood for use in immunosuppressed patientsreceiving bone marrow or solid organ transplants and in the smallnumber of AIDS patients who are CMV negative.

Researchers at the Hutchinson Center and the University of Minnesota,in collaboration with the Puget Sound Blood Center, Universityof Minnesota Blood Banks, and St. Paul American Red Cross, tracked502 marrow transplant patients over a 4-year period.

Patients were randomized to receive blood transfusions througha special filter device or blood screened for CMV. The resultsshowed that filtering blood for the virus was as effective asscreening in preventing CMV infections in these patients.

"This is the first time the blood supply has been renderedsafe from a specific infection (CMV) by filtration," sayslead author Dr. Raleigh Bowden, acting director of the InfectiousDiseases Program at Hutchinson.

The finding is especially important, he said, for blood banksin areas such as New York where most potential donors have beenexposed to CMV.