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Effect of Packed Red Blood Cell Cryopreservation on Development of the Storage Lesion and Inflammation

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Special rept. May 2014-May 2015

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Recent clinical studies in trauma patients indicate that treatment of anemia by transfusion with previously cryopreserved packed red blood cells is superior to that of aged units stored under standard conditions, but the Food and Drug Administration currently restricts their use to 14 days after thawing. The effect of longer term liquid storage on development of the biochemical, metabolic, and morphologic changes collectively known as the red blood cell storage lesion is unknown. In the present study, we attempted to compare and quantify the development of the red blood cell storage lesion of previously cryopreserved red cell units to conventional blood storage. Our findings indicate that, in addition to significantly altered characteristics post thaw, the common indicators of red blood cell storage lesion developed more rapidly in previously cryopreserved red cells. To achieve a satisfactory safety profile for transfusion of previously cryopreserved red blood cells, these factors must be considered in addition to red cell viability and post-transfusion recovery. This investigation provides insight into the durability of these cells after storage at -80 deg C and may guide potential expansion of red blood cell cryopreservation in civilian, trauma, and military settings. Cryopreservation of red blood cell units at -80 deg C for a prolonged period is a promising adjunct to standard blood banking techniques. The post-thaw characteristics are markedly different than fresh packed red blood cells, and the development of the red blood cell storage lesion is accelerated in the post-thaw period. Post-thaw storage duration may be further studied to provide additional longevity to these red cell products in vitro and in vivo.

Subject Categories:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Medical Facilities, Equipment and Supplies

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