Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Discovery opens new options for improving transfusions

Date:
July 16, 2011
Source:
Duke University Medical Center
Summary:
Donated red blood cells lose a key feature that diminishes their lifesaving power the longer they have been stored, according to researchers. The finding details how banked blood undergoes a change during storage that decreases its ability to transport oxygen.

Donated red blood cells lose a key feature that diminishes their lifesaving power the longer they have been stored, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

The finding, published in the journal Critical Care Medicine, details how banked blood undergoes a change during storage that decreases its ability to transport oxygen.

Slowing that process could offer a way to boost the longevity and vitality of stored blood -- more than 14 million units of which are used each year in the United States to treat cancer, acute heart syndromes, trauma and other critical illnesses.

"Studies have indicated that older red blood cells appear to be inferior for some patients," said Timothy J. McMahon, M.D., PhD, associate professor of medicine at Duke and senior author of the study.

"With the supply and demand balance for red blood cells very, very tight, it's important to find ways to optimize the benefit of transfusions and extend the shelf life of stored blood," McMahon said.

Doctors have long noted complications among some critically ill patients who have undergone transfusions for anemia, and researchers have been working to ease these problems by identifying and correcting the shortcomings of stored blood.

One finding reported previously by Duke scientists focused on nitric oxide, a chemical that helps keep blood vessels open. Banked blood quickly begins losing nitric oxide, making it difficult for it to speed through the body and deliver oxygen.

The current Duke team's finding offers an additional insight. Stored red blood cells also lose the ability to release a key molecule called adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP), which works as a sort of anti-adhesive.

As their ability to release ATP diminishes the longer they're stored, red blood cells develop a sticky quality. When transfused, these older cells tend to adhere to the blood vessels in the lungs instead of transporting their oxygen payload throughout the body.

When that happens, patients may be at risk for heart attacks, respiratory failure and other complications that have been associated with transfusions.

"We show that the export of ATP is important to prevent red blood cells from sticking to the inner lining of blood vessel walls," McMahon said. "Whereas previous reports had shown increasing adhesion as a function of storage time, there were very few studies on the mechanism of that adhesion."

McMahon said the researchers are now exploring whether they can ease the problem, perhaps by fortifying stored red blood cells with additional ATP or with an agent that stimulates ATP release.

In addition to McMahon, study authors include: Hongmei Zhu; Rahima Zennadi; Bruce X. Xu; Jerry P. Eu; Jordan A. Torok; and Marilyn J. Telen.

The work was supported with grants from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Duke University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Hongmei Zhu, Rahima Zennadi, Bruce X. Xu, Jerry P. Eu, Jordan A. Torok, Marilyn J. Telen, Timothy J. McMahon. Impaired adenosine-5′-triphosphate release from red blood cells promotes their adhesion to endothelial cells: A mechanism of hypoxemia after transfusion. Critical Care Medicine, 2011; DOI: 10.1097/CCM.0b013e318225754f

Cite This Page:

Duke University Medical Center. "Discovery opens new options for improving transfusions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 July 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110715163220.htm>.
Duke University Medical Center. (2011, July 16). Discovery opens new options for improving transfusions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110715163220.htm
Duke University Medical Center. "Discovery opens new options for improving transfusions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110715163220.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins