Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Genomics in transfusion medicine

How can RBC genomics be utilized to improve outcomes with transfusion?

Submitted by (@barbarak)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Prevention of alloimmunization with transfusion

Improved understanding of RBC epitope diversity

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Utilize advances in genomics medicine to better understand impact of transfusion and to improve outcomes.

Limited donor pool, particularly in minority populations, presents challenges

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Goal-directed versus Fixed-ratio plasma resuscitation in surgical (non-trauma) hemorrhage

For surgical patients meeting criteria for the critical RBC administration threshold (CAT) due to an associated coagulation disorder, which hemostatic resuscitation strategy (goal-directed versus ratio-based) is superior?

Submitted by (@darylkor)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Perioperative hemorrhage remains a significant concern. Coagulopathy frequently develops in the setting of surgical hemorrhage and the optimal strategy for addressing this issue remains a matter of debate.

Military experience suggests the application of ratio-based plasma transfusion practices may improve clinical outcomes in the setting of massive hemorrhage. However, numerous concerns (e.g. survival bias, uniqueness of a military population, risk for adverse events related to high-volume plasma transfusion) preclude the broad generalization of such strategies to non-trauma surgical populations.

Goal-directed hemostatic resuscitation strategies (e.g. coagulation management based upon the results of hemostasis testing) have shown promise in specific surgical environments such as cardiac surgery and liver transplantation. However, definitive direct comparisons between goal-directed strategies and alternative approaches such as fixed-ratio plasma transfusion have not been performed. Moreover, the role of such strategies in more heterogeneous surgical populations remains uncertain. To better define the optimal approach to plasma transfusion strategies in the setting of intraoperative (non-trauma) hemorrhage, we propose a multicenter clinical trial directly comparing fixed-ratio and goal-directed plasma resuscitation strategies in the operating room environment.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Surgical patients with increased risk of hemorrhage may be targeted to improve subject recruitment (e.g. cardiac surgery, liver transplantation, aortic vascular surgery, multi-level instrumented spinal fusions or tumor resections, etc). Therefore, an adequately sized study population is likely to be present in a multicenter study and we believe such a trial would be feasible with NHLBI support.

 

To further enhance the feasibility of identifying a surgical population experiencing significant hemorrhage in a time-efficient manner, predictive algorithms such as the critical RBC administration threshold (CAT) could be also be employed.

 

The optimization of decisions related to plasma transfusion has the potential to improve not only clinical outcomes, but also healthcare resource utilization. Therefore, the outcomes of a trial in this domain could include both patient-important outcomes (e.g. mortality, bleeding complications), as well as outcomes related to healthcare utilization (e.g. total blood products consumed, hospital length of stay).

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Daryl J. Kor, MD and Walter H. Dzik, MD for the 2015 NHLBI State of the Science in Transfusion Medicine.

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Optimization of Existing Therapies for Sickle Cell Disease

How can the safety, dosing and benefits of existing therapies for sickle cell disease such as hydroxyurea, be optimized in order to increase its efficacy and improve patient adherence?

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Hydroxyurea is a widely available disease-modifying therapy for sickle cell disease (SCD), but its effectiveness is currently limited by inadequate utilization, and less than optimal response. Research is needed to improve adherence to this evidence-based therapy and emphasis needs to be placed on determining whether therapy with hydroxyurea can prevent or even reverse organ dysfunction. In addition, research identifying new adjunct therapies to blood transfusion and hydroxyurea, as well as disease-specific therapies for co-morbidities such as kidney disease, hypertension, obstructive lung disease, and pulmonary hypertension will be valuable in the management and treatment of SCD.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Alice Kuaban on behalf of the American Society of Hematology (ASH)

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Mitigating risks due to the RBC storage lesion and vulnerable patients

What are the underlying dependencies (genomic, metabolic, disease) in individual donors that either accelerate or delay the changes to red blood cells during refrigerated storage? What methods of preparation might protect patients from the risks posed by the accelerated degradation of RBCs provided by "poor storers"? What characteristics of individual patients make them particularly vulnerable to transfusion of red ...more »

Submitted by (@andrew.dunham)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

The changes in red blood cells during refrigerated storage have been well documented and associated with negative clinical sequelae in the peer reviewed literature. While the impact of this so-called storage lesion does not impact every patient during every transfusion it is reasonable to expect that when a unit of blood is transfused to a particularly vulnerable patient from a donor that has red blood cells pre-disposed to degradation, stored in a manner that has allowed significant change to occur, the risk of a negative clinical sequelae is increased. In this case it will be important to understand what underlies the likelihood of a donors blood to store poorly, the changes that occur during storage that could impact vulnerable patients and design approaches to mitigate the degradation that could result.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

We believe mitigating the impact of the storage lesion is feasible by reducing and controlling the oxygen concentration in the RBC unit prior to refrigerated storage. We are continuing our development of a device to do this and to generate the data demonstrating the effect of deoxygenation and anaerobic storage.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Andrew Dunham

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Evidence-based, optimized transfusion practice

What are optimal transfusion practices for acute coronary syndrome?

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Blood transfusion is the most commonly employed therapeutic procedure in the US affecting about 5 million patients per year. Having evidence-based transfusion practice guidelines would result in optimized clinical management of patients who need blood transfusions (red blood cells, platelets, plasma) whether for specific conditions (e.g., acute coronary syndromes, sickle cell disease, prenatally) or in specific age groups. Factors that need further evaluation include transfusion trigger in various patient populations, component type and volume transfused, storage age of blood products, patient blood management tools, donor factors that impact on product characteristics, and component processing and storage.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

It is increasingly being recognized that much of the transfusion practice has been empirical, without vigorous scientific evaluation, and thus should be evaluated and optimized. For example, it is not clear if patients with acute coronary syndrome would benefit more from a liberal than a more restrictive red blood cell transfusion strategy; and it is not clear whether plasma transfusion benefits patients with slightly elevated INR (international normalized ratios). Additionally, research capabilities both at the molecular level and at the population level have now made such scientific evaluations possible.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Liberal versus restrictive plasma prior to invasive procedures

At what INR threshold does prophylactic plasma transfusion, in non-bleeding critically ill patients who are planned to undergo an invasive procedure, prevent bleeding complications and improve patient outcomes?

Submitted by (@darylkor)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Millions of plasma units continue to be transfused to non-bleeding critically ill patients. This practice persists despite the lack of high quality evidence indicating improved patient outcomes with prophylactic plasma transfusion triggered by the INR. Studies testing restrictive versus liberal transfusion triggers are now well-established in academic medicine for Red Blood Cell products. More recently, multicenter clinical trials of prophylactic platelet transfusion vs no-prophylaxis have been conducted as well. However, there remains substantial equipoise on the topic of prophylactic plasma transfusion. A large definitive clinical trial that aims to identify the INR threshold at which prophylactic plasma transfusion prevents bleeding complications in non-bleeding critically ill patients would impact clinical practice in a very meaningful way.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Abnormal coagulation tests are common in the ICU and plasma is frequently administered in this specific clinical setting. Indeed, more plasma is administered in the ICU environment than in any other clinical area. Therefore, a multi-center clinical trial addressing the knowledge gap identified above would be feasible with NHLBI support.

 

Importantly, healthcare providers become increasingly uncomfortable with the avoidance of coagulation factor replacement as coagulation screening test results drift further from the normal range. To address this concern, an adaptive clinical trial may be desirable. In this design, a targeted cohort with modest elevations in the INR measurement would be screened for enrollment (e.g. INR results ranging from 1.5 - 2.0). If the avoidance of plasma transfusion is noted to be safe, the study would advance to the next stage of recruitment, targeting a higher range of INR values (e.g. 2.0 - 2.5).

 

Finally, the value of the INR in predicting bleeding complications is increasingly scrutinized. Therefore, it can be argued that the INR is not the ideal "trigger" for plasma transfusion. Despite this, it must be acknowledged that the INR remains the primary driver of decisions related to plasma transfusion. Therefore, a large definitive trial specifically detailing the the efficacy of the current practice versus a more conservative approach to prophylactic plasma transfusion would be practice changing and potentially very transformative.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Daryl J. Kor, MD and Walter H. Dzik, MD for the 2015 NHLBI State of the Science in Transfusion Medicine

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Hemostatic treatment with plasma versus 4-factor PCC in the critically ill

For patients in the ICU with coagulopathy and associated World Health Organization (WHO) grade 3 or 4 bleeding, which hemostatic therapy -- plasma versus 4-factor prothrombin complex concentrates -- is preferred?

Submitted by (@darylkor)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Bleeding is frequently encountered in the ICU and is associated with substantial morbidity and associated mortality. When bleeding occurs, coagulopathy is often present and the optimal coagulation factor management regimen remains a matter of debate. Traditionally (and presently in the US), plasma transfusion has been a cornerstone therapy for the replacement of coagulation factor content in this setting. Moreover, recent evidence supporting the use of plasma in the setting of trauma-related hemorrhage seems to have also generated a renewed enthusiasm for plasma transfusion in other critical care settings.

 

In many locations, there is interest in alternatives to plasma transfusion such as four-factor prothrombin complex concentrates (PCC4) for ICU patients with bleeding. In some locations, factor concentrates have entirely replaced plasma transfusion. However, evidence regarding the benefits and risks of PCC4 versus plasma in ICU patients is lacking. Therefore, we would aim to study the comparative efficacy and risks of a hemostatic strategy relying on PCC4 versus plasma for ICU patients with coagulopathy and bleeding.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Coagulopathy and associated bleeding are common in the intensive care unit environment. Therefore, we believe a multicenter clinical trial evaluating the knowledge gap identified above would be feasible with NHLBI support. Of note, due to the labeled contraindication of disseminated intravascular coagulation for PCC4, such patients would need to be excluded from this trial. Similarly, coagulation abnormalities resulting from congenital coagulation factor deficiencies for which there is a specific coagulation factor product available would also be excluded.

 

Notably, improved management of coagulopathic bleeding has the potential to impact both clinical outcomes and healthcare resource utilization. Therefore, the outcomes of a trial addressing this knowledge gap would include patient-important outcomes (e.g. mortality, length of hospital stay, bleeding, transfusion-related respiratory complications, thromboembolic complications) as well as outcomes related to healthcare utilization (e.g. product cost, total blood products consumed, interventions required to achieve hemostasis such as surgery or embolization).

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Daryl J. Kor, MD and Walter H. Dzik, MD for the 2015 NHLBI State of the Science in Transfusion Medicine

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Optimal hemoglobin threshold for transfusion in children with ARDS?

Do different hemoglobin transfusion thresholds alter outcomes in children with ARDS? What is the optimal *minimum* transfusion threshold for children with ARDS? What patient-centered outcomes can be affected by transfusion strategies: ventilator free days, time to organ function recovery, duration of intensive care stay, survival?

Submitted by (@greg.martin)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Society of Critical Care Medicine Executive Committee/Council

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Transfusion strategies in pediatric and neonatal populations

What are the optimal strategies for transfusion of blood products in pediatric and neonatal population?

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Blood is the most prescribed drug in the PICU, and 95% of all neonates are transfused during their stay in the NICU. Currently, there are no evidence-based guidelines for the optimal hemoglobin levels or platelet counts for these populations. There is a balance that must be achieved between hemostasis and thrombosis for this vulnerable population.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Clinical trials have begun to assess the optimal hemoglobin levels in neonates, but there are no trial to asses the optimal platelet count. Neonatologists, pediatric intensivists, and transfusion medicine physicians are beginning to come together to work on solutions to these problems.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Immune-Mediated hematologic disorders

What is the optimal approach to prevent and treat immune mediated hematologic disorders (autoimmune hemolytic anemia, immune thrombocytopenic purpura, etc) and complications of hematologic disease (inhibitors in hemophilia, transfusion-related alloimmunization, etc)

Submitted by (@barbarak)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Therapies for these disorders are suboptimal and current treatments are associated with significant side effects. Transfusion is limited by development of alloantibodies..

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

NHLBI should support clinical trials in this area. Improved understanding of the biology and biomarkers predictive of disease development would aid in defining therapeutic approaches and trials.

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

How should platelet (PLT) transfusions be used to treat active bleeding?

Multiple randomized controlled trials have been performed to evaluate the use of prophylactic PLT transfusions in non-bleeding, thrombocytopenic hematology-oncology patients. However no high-quality data exist to guide PLT transfusions in actively bleeding patients inclduing pediatric and adult medical and surgical patients. After hematology-oncology patients, cardiac surgery patients are the next largest group of PLT ...more »

Submitted by (@bldbuddy)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

PLT count is almost always the only laboratory result considered in deciding to transfuse PLTs. But PLT counts provide no information about PLT hemostatic function and its contribution to bleeding. A variety of in vitro coagulation tests have been developed: viscoelastography, whole blood PLT aggregometry, etc. But while testing-based transfusion algorithms may reduce blood product utilization, it has not been established that any in vitro test can either predict or help reduce bleeding. There is a gold standard method to assess clinical efficacy of transfused PLTs: incidence of grade 2 or higher bleeding in clinical trials of thrombocytopenic hematology-oncology patients receiving prophylactic PLT transfusions. No analogous gold standard of PLT hemostatic efficacy exists for therapeutic PLT transfusions to treat active bleeding. There is a pressing need to develop such a standard. Establishing reliable methods for evaluating the effects of PLT transfusion in actively bleeding patients will improve our understanding of how different factors (storage conditions, pathogen reduction etc.) affect the functional performance of PLTs.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

PLT transfusions are administered routinely to support bleeding pediatric and adult medical and surgical patients. Opportunities to conduct clinical trials in various settings (cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, trauma, etc.) are widely available. PLT transfusion is commonly used to support bleeding patients receiving perioperative supportive therapies such as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). These clinical situations represent critical opportunities to improve the care of bleeding patients. This approach will simultaneously facilitate comprehensive evaluation and validation of both current and novel in vitro tests of hemostasis. If a given in vitro test were reproducibly shown to correlate strongly with bleeding reduction caused by PLT transfusion, then by definition that would be a clinically meaningful test. Finally, this line of inquiry will allow assessment of the adverse effects of PLT transfusion in bleeding patients.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Terry Gernsheimer, University of Washington, for the 2015 NHLBI for the State of the Science in Transfusion Medicine

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Goal 3: Advance Translational Research

Stem Cell Biology

There is a need to develop “designer platelets” and “designer red cells,” as well as facilitate large-scale production of these products for therapeutic and diagnostic use.

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

The reprogramming of adult stem cells has resulted in the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) that can develop into any tissue of the body. These iPSCs ultimately may be used as a transplantable source of stem cells for a variety of hematologic diseases. Although this technology has enabled the generation of patient-specific or disease-specific stem cells that are also amenable to genetic manipulation, the major scientific hurdle has been the ability to create clinically meaningful functional blood products, including transplantable HSCs from differentiating iPSCs. The production of clinically functional blood products -- i.e. red blood cells derived from autologous iPSCs --could replace allogeneic products in highly immunized patients and the generation of megakaryocytes for patient-specific platelet production from iPSCs could drive significant progress in this area. Furthermore, disease-specific iPSCs could serve as targets for both drug development and drug screening in patients with rare hematologic disorders. In addition, support for scale-up and GMP processes, which are difficult to fund via the R01 mechanism will require specific grant opportunities tailored to infrastructure and process development.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Alice Kuaban on behalf of the American Society of Hematology (ASH)

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