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The effects of red blood cell preparation method on in vitro markers of red blood cell aging and inflammatory response


  • This study was funded by Fenwal, Inc.



Studies are currently under way examining whether the age of stored red blood cells (RBCs) affects clinical outcome in transfusion recipients. The effects of storage duration on the RBC storage lesion are well documented, while fewer studies are available regarding the effect of RBC production method. In this study, we compared in vitro RBC quality variables and markers of inflammatory response in apheresis and whole blood (WB)-derived RBCs, specifically those prepared after an overnight room temperature hold (RTH) of WB.

Study Design and Methods

SAGM RBCs, prepared from WB after overnight RTH (n = 10), were compared to SAGM RBCs prepared using an apheresis device (Alyx, n = 10). As a control, SAGM RBCs were also prepared within 2 hours of WB collection (2-hr WB, n = 10). All RBCs were stored at 4°C for 42 days with weekly assay of in vitro variables, cytokines and/or chemokines, and neutrophil activation after incubation with RBC supernatant.


RTH WB RBCs exhibited decreased levels of 2,3-diphosphoglycerate acid (2.3 μmol/g hemoglobin [Hb] ± 2.1 vs. 13.7 ± 1.3 μmol/g Hb) and morphology (160 ± 10 vs. 192 ± 5) on Day 1 and increased hemolysis (0.45 ± 0.21% vs. 0.31 ± 0.09%) and microparticles (6.1 ± 2.8/103 RBCs vs. 3.9 ± 1.1/103 RBCs) on Day 42 compared to apheresis RBCs. Gro-α and ENA-78 cytokine levels were significantly higher in RTH WB than Alyx RBCs during storage. CD11b expression was highest in neutrophils exposed to supernatant from RTH WB RBCs (p < 0.05).


RBC preparation method has a meaningful effect on the RBC storage lesion, which should be taken into account in addition to length of storage.