BACKGROUND: Restoration of a balanced innate immune response is paramount to recovery from critical injury. Plasma transfusion may modulate innate immune responses; however, little is known about the immunomodulatory potential of various plasma products. We conducted in vitro experiments to determine the effects of fresh frozen plasma, thawed plasma, solvent/detergent plasma, and an investigational spray-dried solvent/detergent plasma product on monocyte function. METHODS: Monocytes were isolated from healthy adult volunteers and cocultured with aliquots of autologous plasma (control), fresh frozen plasma, thawed plasma, solvent/detergent treated plasma, or spray-dried solvent/detergent plasma. Monocyte function was assessed by cytokine production with and without lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation, and flow cytometric assessment of HLA-DR cell surface expression. RESULTS: Monocyte cytokine production was not significantly altered after exposure to fresh frozen plasma or thawed plasma. In the absence of LPS, spray-dried solvent/detergent plasma exposure resulted in markedly increased IL-8 production compared to other plasma groups and controls (p = 0.01, analysis of variance [ANOVA]). Likewise, spray-dried SD plasma exposure resulted in higher LPS-induced IL-8, TNFα, and IL-1β production compared with autologous plasma controls (p < 0.0001; p < 0.0001, p = 0.002, respectively; ANOVA). LPS-induced IL-8 and TNFα production was lowest after exposure to solvent/detergent plasma (p < 0.0001, ANOVA). CONCLUSION: Exposure to spray-dried solvent/detergent plasma resulted in marked augmentation of monocyte inflammatory cytokine production. Solvent/ detergent plasma exposure resulted in the lowest cytokine production, suggesting lower immunomodulatory potential. Further work is needed to determine how these in vitro findings may translate to the bedside.