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Sanidad Militar

versión impresa ISSN 1887-8571


LOPEZ-AGUILAR, JC; CASCANTE-RUIZ, V; NUNEZ-MARQUEZ, L  y  RAMOS-GARRIDO, A. Cryopreserved red blood cells, what's left at the end of the road?. Sanid. Mil. [online]. 2021, vol.77, n.4, pp.180-185.  Epub 09-Mayo-2022. ISSN 1887-8571.

Background and Objectives:

Cryopreserved red blood cells have a very long shelf life, however once thawed, they must meet demanding quality requirements and have a short shelf life. The objective is to evaluate the quality of the final products obtained from cryopreserved red blood cells stored in the CTFAS and the evolution of the quality parameters after storage for 14 days.

Material and methods:

Selection of a sample from the cryopreserved red blood cell store, thawing, deglycerolization and determination of the volume, hematocrit, total hemoglobin, supernatant hemoglobin and pH on day 0, 7 and 14 post-thaw.


The mean volume was 282 ml, the supernatant hemoglobin 0,064 g/unit, Hematocrit 0,503, total hemoglobin 40.8 g/unit, the osmolarity difference - 0.214 mOsm/Kg H2O and the microbiological control was negative in all units.


Cryopreserved red blood cells have a long frozen storage period, but after thawing they have a short storage period since initially, the process was in an open system. With the development of closed systems, the expiration date of the product should be greater, but it is always subject to the validation of each center. The data show that the products stored in our center, some up to 18 years old, are suitable for use and that the thawing and deglycerolization process is adequate. Regarding the expiration period, although changes are observed in accordance with those described in other works, an expiration time greater than 24 hours cannot be established because the supernatant hemoglobin after 7 days after defrosting reaches levels higher than those allowed, remaining the rest of the quality parameters. Regarding the influence of frozen storage time, previous studies indicate the absence of influence on the quality of the product, however in our study it is appreciated that the oldest components present higher rates of hemolysis on day 14 after thawing, which could motivated by the previous conservation period.


The components obtained after thawing and deglycerolization meet the technical-legal requirements of the European Union in all aspects. The expiration of these products in our center is 24 hours, having to look for modifications in the preparation process to extend it. The previous freezing time does not seem to influence the intensity of the damage to cellular metabolism in the early stages of post-thaw storage, although it does seem to negatively influence the hemolysis rate in the late stages of post-thaw storage. These components, due to their high lifespan, constitute a strategic reserve in the healthcare aspect, because they are of the O negative and O positive group and therefore easy to use, and in the operational logistics aspect, since they allow the deployment of large quantities on the ground without the limitation of the conservation time.

Palabras clave : Cryopreserved red blood cells; storage injuries; quality; expiration; ACP 215.

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