The UK's third case of vCJD associated with blood transfusion

December 07, 2006

Researchers report the details of the UK's third case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) associated with blood transfusion in an Article in this week's issue of The Lancet. The case highlights the risk faced by other recipients of vCJD infected blood and suggests that blood transfusion is an efficient route of transmission for vCJD.

In 2004 two transfusion-associated cases of vCJD prion infection were reported. The patients both had a single blood transfusion from donors who later developed vCJD. One of these patients developed clinical signs of vCJD 6.5 years post-transfusion and died 13 months later. The second patient did not develop vCJD and died of an unrelated cause 5 years post-transfusion. The diagnosis of the third case of transfusion-related vCJD was announced in February this year.

The young male patient developed symptoms of vCJD about 6 years after receiving a blood transfusion from a donor who developed symptoms of vCJD 20 months after donating blood. Progressive symptoms. including impaired concentration and poor balance. led to his referral to the NHS National Prion Clinic at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London. The patient decided to enroll into a trial testing a treatment called quinacrine. He received 300mg of quinacrine daily on the trial. However, he continued to decline and eventually became bed-bound. The patient died 8 years and 8 months after the vCJD implicated transfusion. Autopsy confirmed the vCJD diagnosis and showed prion infection.

There are 24 living individuals who are known to have received a blood transfusion in the UK from a donor who later developed vCJD. All these individuals have now been informed of their at risk status. All should be given the opportunity of immediate access to specialist advice, assessment and long-term support, write John Collinge (National Prion Clinic and MRC Prion Unit, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London, UK) and colleagues in their Article.

They add: "This case illustrates the importance of diagnosis as early as possible in the clinical course. The patient was able to consider the option of joining a therapeutic clinical trial, to fully discuss the implications of his diagnosis, and to communicate his wishes to the clinical team and his family, making decisions and arrangements about his future care and other affairs. Specialist monitoring and investigation of high-risk groups, such as recipients of blood transfusion from a donor who developed vCJD, should allow the condition to be recognised at an early stage."

In an accompanying Comment Kumanan Wilson (Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada) and Maura Ricketts (Public Health Agency of Canada) state: "This third case considerably strengthens the inference that transfusion transmission is possible, and suggests that the causative prion can be efficiently transmitted via this route."
EMBARGO: 00:01H (UK time) Friday December 8, 2006. In North America the embargo lifts at 18:30H EST Thursday December 7, 2006.

Contact: Hazel Morris, MRC Press Officer T) 020 7637 6011 Ext: 6011

Dr Kumanan Wilson, 14EN Room 220, Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network, 200 Elizabeth Street, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4, Canada. T) +1 416 340 3662


Related Blood Transfusion Articles from Brightsurf:

Trial clarifies use of blood transfusion in anaemic heart attack patients
Restricting blood transfusion in anaemic heart attack patients to those with very low haemoglobin levels saves blood with no negative impact on clinical outcomes.

Transient increase in blood pressure promotes some blood vessel growth
Blood vessels are the body's transportation system, carrying oxygen and nutrients to cells and whisking away waste.

How high levels of blood fat cause inflammation and damage kidneys and blood vessels
Viral and bacterial infections are not the only causes of inflammation of body tissue.

Women with anemia twice as likely to need transfusion after cesarean delivery
Pregnant women with anemia are twice as likely to need blood transfusions after a cesarean delivery, as those without the condition, according to a study being presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2019 annual meeting.

Are blood donor sex, pregnancy history and death of transfusion recipients associated?
Whether blood donors' sex and pregnancy history were associated with death for red blood cell transfusion recipients was investigated in this study that analyzed data from three study groups totaling more than 1 million transfusion recipients.

Red blood cell donor pregnancy history not tied to mortality after transfusion
A new study has found that the sex or pregnancy history of red blood cell donors does not influence the risk of death among patients who receive their blood.

Blood transfusion during liver cancer surgery linked with higher risk of cancer recurrence and death
Receiving a blood transfusion during curative surgery for the most common type of liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) is associated with a much higher risk of cancer recurrence and dying prematurely, according to new research being presented at this year's Euroanaesthesia congress.

Impeding white blood cells in antiphospholipid syndrome reduced blood clots
A new study examined APS at the cellular level and found that two drugs reduced development of blood clots in mice affected with the condition.

Study: Denosumab effective in treating osteoporosis in transfusion dependent thalassemia
For patients with osteoporosis caused by transfusion-dependent thalassemia (TDT), a twice-yearly injection appears to improve spinal bone mineral density, according to a new study.

World's largest transfusion study in cardiac surgery changes transfusion practices
Lower thresholds for blood transfusions for cardiac surgery patients compared to traditional thresholds provide positive patient outcomes and safety at six months after surgery, according to the world's largest research study on this topic.

Read More: Blood Transfusion News and Blood Transfusion Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to