Hod EA, Zhang N, Sokol SA, et al. Transfusion of red blood cells after prolonged storage produces harmful effects that are mediated by iron and inflammation

Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY 10032, USA.
Blood (Impact Factor: 10.45). 03/2010; 115(21):4284-92. DOI: 10.1182/blood-2009-10-245001
Source: PubMed


Although red blood cell (RBC) transfusions can be lifesaving, they are not without risk. In critically ill patients, RBC transfusions are associated with increased morbidity and mortality, which may increase with prolonged RBC storage before transfusion. The mechanisms responsible remain unknown. We hypothesized that acute clearance of a subset of damaged, stored RBCs delivers large amounts of iron to the monocyte/macrophage system, inducing inflammation. To test this in a well-controlled setting, we used a murine RBC storage and transfusion model to show that the transfusion of stored RBCs, or washed stored RBCs, increases plasma nontransferrin bound iron (NTBI), produces acute tissue iron deposition, and initiates inflammation. In contrast, the transfusion of fresh RBCs, or the infusion of stored RBC-derived supernatant, ghosts, or stroma-free lysate, does not produce these effects. Furthermore, the insult induced by transfusion of stored RBC synergizes with subclinical endotoxinemia producing clinically overt signs and symptoms. The increased plasma NTBI also enhances bacterial growth in vitro. Taken together, these results suggest that, in a mouse model, the cellular component of leukoreduced, stored RBC units contributes to the harmful effects of RBC transfusion that occur after prolonged storage. Nonetheless, these findings must be confirmed by prospective human studies.

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Available from: Steven L Spitalnik, Nov 18, 2015
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    • "Furthermore , 2 individual donors (Donors 3 and 4) showed that 50– 60% of their stored RBCs were too rigid to pass through the microconstrictions. These results are similar to other studies that compared clearance rates of RBCs that were stored for extended periods (Deplaine et al., 2011; Hod et al., 2010; Huang et al., 2015). The considerable variability between the deformability degradation measured in blood bags is opposed to the relative uniformity of fresh unprocessed RBCs of healthy donors. "
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    ABSTRACT: A key challenge in transfusion medicine research and clinical hematology is to develop a simple and non-destructive method to measure the quality of each blood unit prior to use. RBC deformability has long been proposed as an indicator of blood quality. We measured RBC deformability using the pressure required for single cells to transit through a micrometer scale constriction to examine longitudinal changes in RBC deformability, as well as the variability in blood quality and storage capacity across donors. We used a microfluidic device to monitor deformability changes in RBCs stored in plastic tubes and in blood bags over 14 and 56 days respectively. We found consistent storage based degradation of RBC deformability with statistically significant variability in both the initial RBC deformability and storage capacity among donors. Furthermore, all samples exhibited a transient recovery phenomenon. Deformability profiling of stored RBCs using transiting pressure showed significant donor variability in initial quality and storage capacity. This measurement approach shows promise as a rapid method to individually assess the quality of stored RBC units.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of Biomechanics
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    • "Plasma NTBI may be present when transferrin saturation exceeds about 60–70% and has been implicated in determining tissue iron distribution. Although plasma NTBI levels correlate loosely with markers of iron overload, additional factors, such as ineffective erythropoiesis (Wickramasinghe et al, 1999), suspension of erythropoiesis (Bradley et al, 1997) or recent blood transfusion (Hod et al, 2010) are also implicated with NTBI levels. High levels of ineffective erythropoiesis (IE), such as in TM, suppress hepcidin levels (Origa et al, 2007) through bone marrow-derived factors (Kautz et al, 2014), thereby potentially increasing transferrin saturation and NTBI generation. "
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    ABSTRACT: In transfusional iron overload, extra-hepatic iron distribution differs, depending on the underlying condition. Relative mechanisms of plasma non-transferrin bound iron (NTBI) generation may account for these differences. Markers of iron metabolism (plasma NTBI, labile iron, hepcidin, transferrin, monocyte SLC40A1 [ferroportin]), erythropoiesis (growth differentiation factor 15, soluble transferrin receptor) and tissue hypoxia (erythropoietin) were compared in patients with Thalassaemia Major (TM), Sickle Cell Disease and Diamond-Blackfan Anaemia (DBA), with matched transfusion histories. The most striking differences between these conditions were relationships of NTBI to erythropoietic markers, leading us to propose three mechanisms of NTBI generation: iron overload (all), ineffective erythropoiesis (predominantly TM) and low transferrin-iron utilization (DBA).
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · British Journal of Haematology
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    • "Several major projects are ongoing [8], [9], and clinical trials and laboratory studies have already shown that long-stored red blood cells have harmful effects [4], [9]–[19]. The structural and biochemical changes that RBCs go through during storage are likely to contribute to adverse transfusion effects [3], [11], [19]–[25]. A definitive determination of the potential risks associated with transfusion of RBCs stored for longer periods of time, however, is still elusive not only because the responsible mechanisms have not yet been identified, but also because some facts are not clear. "
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    ABSTRACT: Aims Numerous studies have suggested that transfusion of red blood cells (RBCs) stored over a long period of time may induce harmful effects due to storage-induced lesions. However, the underlying mechanisms responsible for this damage have not been identified. Furthermore, it is unclear why and how up to 30% of long-stored RBCs disappear from the circulation within 24 hours after transfusion. The aim of this study was to determine how the cell number of RBCs of different ages changes during storage and how these cells undergo cumulative structural and functional changes with storage time. Methods and Results We used Percoll centrifugation to fractionate the RBCs in blood bank stored RBC units into different aged sub-populations and then measured the number of intact cells in each sub-population as well the cells’ biomechanical and biochemical parameters as functions of the storage period. We found that the RBC units stored for ≤ 14 days could be separated into four fractions: the top or young cell fraction, two middle fractions, and the lower or old fraction. However, after 14 days of storage, the cell number and cellular properties declined rapidly whereby the units stored for 21 days only exhibited the three lower fractions and not the young fraction. The cell number within a unit stored for 21 days decreased by 23% compared to a fresh unit and the cells that were lost had hemolyzed into harmful membrane fragments, microparticles, and free hemoglobin. All remaining cells exhibited cellular properties similar to those of senescent cells. Conclusion In RBC units stored for greater than 14 days, there were fewer intact cells with no healthy cells present, as well as harmful membrane fragments, microparticles, and free hemoglobin. Therefore, transfusion of these stored units would not likely help patients and may induce a series of clinical problems.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · PLoS ONE
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