Background: Extracellular vesicles or microparticles exhibiting procoagulant and thrombogenic activity may contribute to the haemostatic potential of fresh frozen plasma.
Materials and methods: Fresh frozen plasma was prepared from platelet-rich plasma at 20 °C (Group-1 donors) or directly from whole blood at 4 °C (Group-2 donors). Each unit was aseptically divided into three parts, stored frozen for specific periods of time, and analysed by flow cytometry for procoagulant activity immediately after thaw or following post-thaw storage for 24 h at 4 °C. Donors' haematologic, biochemical and life-style profiles as well as circulating microparticles were analysed in parallel.
Results: Circulating microparticles exhibited a considerable interdonor but not intergroup variation. Fresh frozen plasma units were enriched in microparticles compared to plasma in vivo. Duration of storage significantly affected platelet- and red cell-derived microparticles. Fresh frozen plasma prepared directly from whole blood contained more residual platelets and more platelet-derived microparticles compared to fresh frozen plasma prepared from platelet-rich plasma. Consequently, there was a statistically significant difference in total, platelet- and red cell-derived microparticles between the two preparation protocols over storage time in the freezer. Preservation of the thawed units for 24 h at 4 °C did not significantly alter microparticle accumulation. Microparticle accumulation and anti-oxidant capacity of fresh frozen plasma was positively or negatively correlated, respectively, with the level of circulating microparticles in individual donors.
Discussion: The preparation protocol and the duration of storage in the freezer, independently and in combination, influenced the accumulation of microparticles in fresh frozen plasma units. In contrast, storage of thawed units for 24 h at 4 °C had no significant effect on the concentration of microparticles.