Platelet storage solution effects on the accuracy of laboratory tests for platelet function: a multi-laboratory study


Tania VandenBroeke, GambroBCT, Inc., 10811 W. Collins Ave., Lakewood, CO 80215, USA E-mail:


Background and Objectives  Extent of shape change (ESC) and hypotonic shock response (HSR) have been widely used to characterize the in vitro function of platelets and have been shown to correlate with in vivo viability. These assays have been routinely performed using platelet-poor plasma (PPP) as the test sample diluent. Because of the increasing popularity of storing platelets in synthetic media, it is important to understand the effects of using these synthetic media as test diluents for ESC and HSR measurements. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of using platelet storage solutions vs. plasma for the in vitro testing of ESC and HSR.

Materials and Methods  Six laboratories participated in this study. Platelets were prepared by apheresis, the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) method, or derived from buffy-coats. Each platelet preparation was divided, half being stored in plasma and the other half in storage solution. ESC and HSR testing were performed in duplicate on days 1 and 5, using each of three diluents: autologous plasma; fresh-frozen plasma; or storage solution.

Results  For both ESC and HSR, dilutions made in each of the three diluents yielded significantly different results. Dilutions made in storage solutions were more than 30% lower for ESC and HSR than those made in autologous plasma (P < 0·0001). Dilutions made in thawed fresh-frozen plasma were more than 16% lower for ESC and HSR than those made in liquid autologous plasma (P < 0·0005).

Conclusions  ESC and HSR test results are significantly affected by the test diluent. Platelets should be diluted in plasma (preferably autologous) for the in vitro testing of ESC and HSR, regardless of the media in which they are stored.