Viral Activation Transfusion Study (VATS)

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Accession Number

Study Type
Clinical Trial

Collection Type
Open BioLINCC Study See bottom of this webpage for request information

Study Period

NHLBI Division

Dataset(s) Last Updated
January 3, 2018

Primary Publication URLs


Commercial Use Data Restrictions No

Data Restrictions Based On Area Of Research No


To compare the effects of leukoreduced and unmodified RBC transfusions on survival, complications of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and relevant laboratory markers in HIV-infected patients.


Allogeneic blood transfusions have immunomodulatory effects and have been associated with activation of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) in vitro and of HIV in small pilot studies. Retrospective studies suggest that transfusions adversely affect the clinical course of HIV. Data in selected non-HIV-infected patients requiring blood transfusion have suggested clinical benefit with leukocyte-reduced red blood cells (RBCs).


A total of 531 persons infected with HIV and CMV, aged 14 years or older, who required transfusions for anemia; 259 received leukoreduced transfusions and 262 received unmodified transfusions (10 did not receive the planned transfusion).


No evidence of HIV, CMV, or cytokine activation was found following blood transfusion in patients with advanced HIV infection. Leukoreduction provided no clinical benefit in these patients. These data demonstrate the importance of conducting controlled studies of effects of leukoreduction in different patient populations, since smaller studies in other patient populations have suggested leukoreduction may be beneficial. (JAMA March 28, 2001; Vol 285, No. 12)

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