Background: In preliminary studies, anaerobic red blood cell (RBC) storage reduced oxidative damage and phosphatidylserine exposure while maintaining adenosine triphosphate levels. The purpose of this study was to compare the 24-hour recovery and life span of autologous RBCs stored 6 and 9 weeks using OFAS3 additive solution in an anaerobic environment, compared to control RBCs aerobically stored in AS-3 for 6 weeks.
Study design and methods: Eight subjects were entered into a randomized, crossover study. Whole blood was collected from each subject twice separated by 12 weeks or more into CP2D and leukoreduced. Controls were stored in AS-3. Test units in OFAS3 were oxygen depleted with argon then stored 9 weeks in an anaerobic chamber at 1 to 6 degrees C. At the end of each storage period, RBCs were labeled with (51)Cr and (99m)Tc and reinfused to the subject following standard methods to determine double-label recovery and life span. Hypotheses tests were conducted using paired, repeated-measures analysis of variance.
Results: Recovery for the anaerobically stored test RBC was significantly better than control at 6 weeks (p = 0.023). Test units at 9 weeks were not different than the 6-week control units (p = 0.73). Other in vitro measures of RBC characteristics followed the same trend. Two test units at 9 weeks had hemolysis of greater than 1 percent.
Conclusion: Anaerobically stored RBCs in OFAS3 have superior recovery at 6 weeks compared to the controls and equivalent recovery at 9 weeks with no change in life span. Anaerobic storage of RBCs may provide improved RBCs for transfusion at 6 weeks of storage and may enable extending storage beyond the current 42-day limit.