Transfusion of blood components may cause transfusion-associated acute lung injury (TRALI) which may result in severe morbidity and even mortality. Although there exists an immunologic and a non-immunologic model for the development of TRALI, its exact pathogenesis is poorly understood. Activated platelets can induce the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) that function to trap pathogens. In the present study, a mouse model was used to investigate the decrease in NET formation and lung injury after targeting activated murine platelets with aspirin or tirofiban. Treated animals were protected from lung edema and as a consequence completely from mortality. As NETs were also observed in the lungs and plasma of human TRALI patients, the authors suggest that targeting NET formation can be considered as a new treatment option of TRALI.

– Rainer Moog