Alteration of red cell aggregability and shape during blood storage

Tavor Hovav*, Saul Yedgar, Noga Manny, Gregory Barshtein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Storage of blood units (for 35-42 days, depending on the preservative solution) has been reported to induce changes (e.g., reduction of sialic acid level) in red cells that are expected to alter their aggregability. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: The aggregability of stored red cells was monitored in their autologous plasma and compared to that obtained with washed cells in dextran-containing buffer throughout the storage period. Red cell aggregability was determined by using a computerized image analyzer of cell flow properties. RESULTS: Blood storage induced changes in red cells that are associated with continuous increase of their aggregability. At the same time, blood storage was associated with a reduction in the level of plasma fibrinogen, the major aggregating agent in plasma. Accordingly, the increased red cell aggregability was observed in red cells stored in dextran- containing buffer, but not in red cells stored in autologous plasma. CONCLUSION: Because blood transfusion is routinely given to patients with normal or high fibrinogen level, the transfusion of stored red cells has the potential to induce increased aggregation in vivo, depending on the storage period. This should be taken into account when blood transfusion is considered, particularly for patients with microcirculatory disorders.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)277-281
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1999


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