Background and objectives: The safety and efficacy of stored red blood cells (RBCs) transfusion has been long debated due to retrospective clinical evidence and laboratory results, indicating a potential correlation between increased morbidity and mortality following transfusion of RBC units stored longer than 14 days. We hypothesize that storage in Optisol additive solution-5 leads to a unique metabolomics profile in the supernatant of stored RBCs.
Materials and methods: Whole blood was drawn from five healthy donors, RBC units were manufactured, and prestorage leucoreduced by filtration. Samples were taken on days 1 and 42, the cells removed, and mass spectrometry-based metabolomics was performed.
Results: The results confirmed the progressive impairment of RBC energy metabolism by day 42 with indirect markers of a parallel alteration of glutathione and NADPH homeostasis. Moreover, oxidized pro-inflammatory lipids accumulated by the end of storage.
Conclusion: The supernatants from stored RBCs may represent a burden to the transfused recipients from a metabolomics standpoint.
Keywords: oxidative stress; red blood cell; storage; transfusion medicine.
© 2014 International Society of Blood Transfusion.