Background: A study in humans showed that the transfusion of previously frozen human platelets after cardiopulmonary bypass, despite decreased survival, resulted in better hemostatic function than that of liquid-preserved platelets stored at 22 degrees C for 3 to 4 days.
Study design and methods: In this study, fresh, 3- to 4-day-old liquid-preserved, and cryopreserved human platelets were studied by the use of monoclonal antibodies directed against p-selectin, glycoprotein (GP)Ib, activated GPIIb/IIIa, and coagulation factor V in a three-color flow cytometric method.
Results: The fresh and liquid-preserved platelets had normal surface levels of GPIb, while the cryopreserved platelets were composed of distinct subpopulations of GPIb-normal and GPIb-reduced platelets. On the basis of the binding of factor V, both subpopulations of cryopreserved platelets exhibited greater surface binding of factor V than did fresh and liquid-preserved platelets. Activated GPIIb/IIIa was elevated on GPIb-normal platelets, but not on GPIb-reduced platelets. Baboon platelets frozen by a procedure identical to that used to freeze human platelets also had GPIb-normal and GPIb-reduced subpopulations after the freezing-thawing-washing procedure. Autologous cryopreserved baboon platelets labeled with biotin-X-N-hydroxysuccinimide showed a rapid removal of GPIb-reduced platelets during the 5-minute postinfusion period, whereas GPIb-normal platelets had an in vivo recovery of 48 percent and a lifespan of slightly less than 6 days.
Conclusions: Improved in vivo function of cryopreserved platelets may be related to the rapid hemostatic effect of the GPIb-reduced subpopulation secondary to increased binding of factor V and expression of p-selectin.