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Store donated blood for more than 3 weeks? Say NO (nitric oxide)
Date:3/10/2013

dilation of up to 10 percent the average for the hospitalized group was 5 percent. Patients receiving aged blood saw their FMD halved to 2.4 percent 24 hours after the transfusion, while patients receiving fresh blood saw no significant change in FMD.

This effect of older blood on blood vessel function is similar in size to that of eating a fatty meal (temporary), or the longterm effects of a cardiovascular disease risk factor such as smoking or diabetes.

Healthy flow-mediated dilation reflects sufficient production of nitric oxide, which is generated by the blood vessels' endothelial lining and causes them to relax. Nitric oxide is also important for delivery of oxygen by hemoglobin. Red blood cells carry nitric oxide bound to hemoglobin, and play a critical role in recycling the nitric oxide. Over time in storage, the nitric oxide is lost. Transfused red blood cells last a couple months in the patient. The Emory team did not measure FMD beyond 24 hours.

The so-called "red blood cell storage lesion" consists of several changes including oxidation, disruption of cellular structures, and loss of other chemicals such as the energy currency ATP and the hemoglobin regulator 2,3-diphosphoglycerate. A recent study has also shown that red blood cells stored for more than three weeks lose physical flexibility.

Thus, loss of nitric oxide is probably not the only important change, but it may be significant in terms of effects on cardiovascular health, the authors argue.

"Aside from the direct infusion of nitric oxide-deficient blood, we may be also seeing an indirect effect from other aspects of storage that impact nitric oxide availability and endothelial function such as increased inflammation triggered by aged blood," Neuman says.

A 2008 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that cardiac surgery patients receiving older blood had a higher risk of dying in the hospital, and were more likely to nee
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Contact: Quinn Eastman
qeastma@emory.edu
404-727-3990
Emory Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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