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BACKGROUND: Previous systematic reviews have revealed an inconsistency of outcome definitions as a major barrier in providing evidence-based guidance for the use of plasma transfusion to prevent or treat bleeding. We reviewed and analyzed outcomes in randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to provide a methodology for describing and classifying outcomes. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: RCTs involving transfusion of plasma published after 2000 were identified from a prior review (Yang 2012) and combined with an updated systematic literature search of multiple databases (July 1, 2011 to January 17, 2023). Inclusion of publications, data extraction, and risk of bias assessments were performed in duplicate. (PROSPERO registration number is: CRD42020158581). RESULTS: In total, 5579 citations were identified in the new systematic search and 22 were included. Six additional trials were identified from the previous review, resulting in a total of 28 trials: 23 therapeutic and five prophylactic studies. An increasing number of studies in the setting of major bleeding such as in cardiovascular surgery and trauma were identified. Eighty-seven outcomes were reported with a mean of 11 (min-max. 4-32) per study. There was substantial variation in outcomes used with a preponderance of surrogate measures for clinical effect such as laboratory parameters and blood usage. CONCLUSION: There is an expanding literature on plasma transfusion to inform guidelines. However, considerable heterogeneity of reported outcomes constrains comparisons. A core outcome set should be developed for plasma transfusion studies. Standardization of outcomes will motivate better study design, facilitate comparison, and improve clinical relevance for future trials of plasma transfusion.

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bleeding, core outcome set, hemorrhage, plasma transfusion, prophylaxis, randomized trials