Background: Hemoglobin (Hb)-based oxygen carriers (HBOCs) have been proposed as alternatives to blood for decades. Previous studies demonstrated that large molecular diameter HBOCs based on polymerized bovine Hb (PolybHb) attenuate Hb side-effects and toxicity. The objective of this study was to test the safety and efficacy of tense state PolybHb after long-term storage.
Methods and results: PolybHb was subjected to diafiltration to remove low molecular weight (< 500 kDa) species and stored for 2 years. PolybHb was studied in parallel with blood, collected from rats and stored leukodepleted under blood bank conditions for 3 weeks. Rats were hemorrhaged and resuscitated to 90% of the blood pressure before the hemorrhage with fresh blood, stored blood, fresh PolybHb, or 2-year-stored PolybHb. Hemorrhagic shock impaired oxygen delivery and cardiac function. Resuscitation restored blood pressure and cardiac function, but stored blood required a significantly larger transfusion volume to recover from shock compared with fresh blood and PolybHb (fresh and stored). Stored blood transfusion elevated markers of organ damage compared with all other groups.
Conclusions: These studies indicate that large molecular diameter PolybHb is as efficacious as fresh blood in restoring cardiac function and confirm the lack of degradation of PolybHb's safety or efficacy during long-term storage.