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NHLBI funds research to improve safety of red blood cell transfusions
Date:6/21/2010

de, a chemical that causes blood vessels to expand so that they can take in more oxygen. The team will study whether microparticles and free hemoglobin released from ruptured red blood cells in stored blood soaks up the nitric oxide that patients need.

  • "RBC age and potentiation of transfusion related pathology in trauma patients," Rakesh Patel, Ph.D., Scott Barnum, Ph.D., and Jordan Weinberg, M.D., University of Alabama at Birmingham. Studying injured patients in an intensive care unit who need one transfusion of red blood cells, this group will investigate how red blood cell storage time affects blood flow through capillaries, and how this blood flow is affected by the interaction between banked blood and both nitric oxide and the immune system.

  • "Adverse effects of RBC transfusions: A unifying hypothesis," John Roback, M.D., Ph.D., Emory University, Atlanta. Roback's team will study how red blood cell storage time and preparation methods (including irradiation and white blood cell removal) change nitric oxide levels, blood flow, and the amount of oxygen absorbed by patients' tissues. It will also investigate whether cardiovascular disease patients who have trouble making nitric oxide are more sensitive to the effects of stored and processed blood than they are to fresh blood. More information about this clinical trial (NCT00838331) can be found at http://clinicaltrials.gov/.

  • "Restoration and function of S-nitrosothiol in stored blood," Jonathan S. Stamler, M.D., Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals, Cleveland, Ohio. Stamler's team previously discovered that red blood cells regulate blood flow by dilating blood vessels, and that a mediator of this response called S-nitrosohemoglobin (SNO-Hb), falls in stored blood. The researchers will determine whether restoring SNO-Hb levels in stored blood prior to transfusion will improve tissue oxygenation.

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  • Contact: NHLBI Communications Office
    NHLBI_news@nhlbi.nih.gov
    301-496-4236
    NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
    Source:Eurekalert

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