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J Proteomics. 2010 Jan 3;73(3):368-73. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2009.11.005. Epub 2009 Nov 13.

Red cell storage.

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University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.


Blood component storage allows the donor and recipient to be separated in time and space. This separation converts transfusion from a desperate clinical act into a planned, orderly healthcare logistic activity with concomitant increases in both blood product availability and safety. However, storage has the potential to reduce the efficacy of transfused blood components by reducing their flow, functional capacity, and survival. Storage time also allows the accumulation of leaked potassium from red cells and the growth of contaminating bacteria. Many different aspects of the red cell storage lesion have been described, including changes in metabolism, shape, and rheology changes, loss of membrane carbohydrates, lipids and proteins, and alterations in secretion, oxygen delivery, and adhesion. What has been harder to show is that these known changes have significant clinical effects. Therefore, regulatory decisions about product storage have been conservative, and largely based on historic patterns of use. The increasing power of proteomics and metabolomics offers the potential of deeper understanding of blood function and storage and of better clinical products in the future.

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