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Keywords:

  • platelet preservation;
  • cryopresevation;
  • platelet circulation

Platelet transfusion represents an important component of the therapy for thrombocytopenic patients. Prolonged storage capabilities for platelets would alleviate many problems associated with blood banking. Unfortunately, current cryopreservation methods are complex to implement and result in loss of cell number and functional activity. Previous in vitro studies have shown that the use of ThromboSolTM, a platelet-stabilizing formulation, in the cryopreservation of platelets results in significant retention of cell number and in vitro functional activities in addition to reducing the DMSO requirement to only 2%. We evaluated the in vivo circulatory parameters of platelets cryopreserved with ThromboSol. Single donor platelet units were obtained from healthy volunteers (n = 16); the units were then split and cryopreserved with either ThromboSol and 2% DMSO or 6% DMSO alone. Following storage at −80°C for 7–10 d the samples were thawed, washed and radiolabelled with either 51Cr or 111In. The paired samples were then mixed and reinfused into the autologous volunteer. At various time intervals following transfusion a blood sample was drawn and the quantity of circulating labelled platelets was determined. The percent recovery and survival time was determined by multiple-hit analysis. The ThromboSol-treated platelets, as compared to the 6% DMSO-treated platelets, displayed statistically higher percent recovery (40.2% v 28.8%) and survival time (166.3 h v 152.1 h). These results demonstrated that platelets cryopreserved with ThromboSol displayed superior in vitro and in vivo characteristics as compared to the standard 6% DMSO method. The use of ThromboSol allowed for a 3-fold reduction in the DMSO concentration in conjunction with a 40% increase in circulating cell number and normal survival times.