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Transfusion. 2016 Jun;56(6):1320-8. doi: 10.1111/trf.13511. Epub 2016 Feb 8.

Storage of platelets at 4°C in platelet additive solutions prevents aggregate formation and preserves platelet functional responses.

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US Army Institute of Surgical Research, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas.



Platelet (PLT) storage has been limited to 5 days at room temperature due to metabolic decline and risk for bacterial contamination. Refrigeration preserves PLT metabolism and function as well as limits bacterial growth; however, cold storage of PLTs also leads to aggregate formation. We hypothesized that storage of PLT concentrates at 4°C leads to glycoprotein (GP)IIb-IIIa activation and thus aggregate formation through fibrinogen binding and that this could be prevented by storing PLTs in PLT additive solution (PAS) without compromising PLT function.


Apheresis PLTs in plasma (AP) or apheresis PLTs in PAS were stored at 22 or 4°C for up to 15 days. Measurements include PLT counts, blood gases, aggregation response, flow cytometry analysis of integrin levels, activation markers, and microparticle formation.


Storage of AP 4°C led to a gradual decline in PLT count and an increase in aggregate formation that was mediated by intracellular calcium leak and fibrinogen receptor activation. Storage of PAS at 4°C prevented aggregate formation due to dilution of plasma fibrinogen. PAS stored at 4°C maintained aggregation responses to multiple agonists better than 22°C controls.


Storage of AP at 4°C leads to low level GPIIb-IIIa activation and results in aggregate formation over time. Separating the PLTs from the plasma component and storing them in PAS at 4°C resolves aggregate formation and preserves the metabolic and functional responses of these stored PLTs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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