Deformability of cord blood vs. newborns’ red blood cells: implication for blood transfusion

Dan Arbell, Alona Bin-Nun, Diaa Zugayar, Smadar Eventov-Friedman, Natalia Chepel, Naama Srebnik, Cathy Hamerman, Tanja L.R. Wexler, Gregory Barshtein*, Saul Yedgar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Aim: About 50% of premature neonates (PN) are treated with transfusion of packed red blood cells (PRBC) collected from adult donors, which has been suggested to potentially provoke PN pathologies, characterized as blood circulation disorders. RBC have properties that are key determinants of blood circulation, primarily the cell deformability. In previous studies we have shown that transfusion of RBC with reduced deformability impaired the transfusion outcome. Although RBC of PN (PN-RBC) are larger, and their microvessels are narrower than those of adults, their blood circulation is very efficient, pointing to the possibility that the deformability of adults' PRBC is inferior to that of PN-RBC, and that treating PN with PRBC transfusion might, therefore, introduce a risk to the recipients. This would infer that PN should be given RBC with high deformability. However, since using PN-RBC is not feasible, the use of cord blood RBC (CB-RBC) is a sound alternative, assuming that the deformability of CB-RBC is comparable to that of PN-RBC.The present study is aimed at testing this hypothesis. Methods: We compared the deformability of (1) RBC of PN vs. the PRBC they received, and (2) PN-RBC vs. their autologous CB-RBC. Results: 1. The deformability of the transfused PRBC is indeed inferior to that of PN-RBC. 2. The deformability of CB-RBC is equivalent to that of PN-RBC. Conclusion: This study supports the notion that treating PN with transfusion of adults' PRBC has the potential to introduce a circulatory risk to the recipients, while CB-RBC, with their superior deformability, provides a safer and more effective PN-specific transfusion therapy.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3270-3275
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 2022

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  • Cord blood
  • RBC deformability
  • RBC transfusion
  • premature


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