Fibrinogen and Albumin Deficiencies Associated with Packed Red Blood Cell Transfusions
Fibrinogen content was determined for each of 50 units of citrate-dextrose-phosphate (CPD)-preserved whole blood, packed red blood cells reconstituted with 250 ml. of saline, and packed red cells reconstituted with 250 ml. of purified plasma protein fraction (PPF). The total protein and albumin were measured, by electrophoresis, on each of 10 units of the three varieties of blood. The fibrinogen content of the two types of reconstituted cells was significantly lower than that of whole blood. Although the total protein/albumin content of whole blood and PPF-reconstituted red cells was similar, saline-reconstituted cells were markedly deficient in both total protein and albumin. Low fibrinogen and platelet levels subsequent to transfusion with reconstituted packed red cells can lead to an erroneous diagnosis of disseminated intravascular coagulation. Administration of large quantities of saline-reconstituted packed cells could be an etiologic factor in postoperative interstitial pulmonary edema.
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