Analysis of RBC-microparticles in stored whole blood bags - a promising marker to detect blood doping in sports?

Drug Test Anal. 2017 Nov;9(11-12):1794-1798. doi: 10.1002/dta.2212. Epub 2017 Jun 20.


Blood doping in sports is prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). To find a possible biomarker for the detection of blood doping, we investigated the changes in blood stored in CPDA-1 blood bags of eight healthy subjects who donated one unit of blood. Aliquots were taken on days 0, 14, and 35. Platelet-free plasma was prepared and stored at -80°C until analysis on a flow cytometer dedicated for the analysis of microparticles (MPs). Changes in the number of red blood cell (RBC) -MPs were highly significant (p < 0.0001) with a mean of 219 (10^3/μL) on day 0 changing to 23 120 (10^3/μL) on day 14 and 29 310 (10^3/μL) on day 35. We conclude that RBC-MPs seem to be a promising biomarker for doping control but confirmation by a transfusion study is necessary.

Keywords: autologous; blood; doping; microparticles; transfusion.

MeSH terms

  • Adenine / chemistry*
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Blood Transfusion
  • Citrates / chemistry*
  • Doping in Sports*
  • Erythrocytes / chemistry*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Glucose / chemistry*
  • Phosphates / chemistry*


  • Biomarkers
  • CPDA solutions
  • Citrates
  • Phosphates
  • Glucose
  • Adenine