Blood Transfusion 2/2017 - Thematic issue on "Red blood cell storage and clinical outcomes: new insights" (March-April)
The purified vepoloxamer prevents haemolysis in 42-day stored, DEHP/PVC-free red blood cell units
Authors:  Jose A. Cancelas, Neeta Rugg, Shawnagay Nestheide, Sarah E. Hill, R. Martin Emanuele, Douglas S. McKenzie
Pages:  165-171
To cite this article:  Blood Transfus 2017; 15: 165-71
Doi:  10.2450/2017.0351-16
Published online:  20/02/2017

Background. Use of the plasticiser di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) blood bags poses a potential dilemma. The presence of DEHP in blood bags has been shown to be beneficial to red blood cells during storage by diminishing haemolysis. However, DEHP use in PVC may be carcinogenic or estrogenising. Vepoloxamer is a poloxamer with rheological and cytoprotective rheological properties and a favourable toxicity profile in clinical trials. We hypothesised that vepoloxamer may be sufficient to replace the plasticiser DEHP to prevent elevated haemolysis while conserving the biochemical and redox potential++ in RBCs stored for up to 42 days. 
Materials and methods. Paired analyses of aliquots from pooled RBC suspensions of ABO identical donors were aseptically split into test storage containers (DEHP/PVC or DEHP-free/ethylene vinyl acetate [EVA]) supplemented with or without vepoloxamer (at concentrations of 0.1, 1, 5 or 7.89 mg/mL) and cold stored for up to 42 days. 
Results. Vepoloxamer significantly prevented the increased haemolysis induced by the absence of DEHP in EVA bags in a dose-dependent manner by days 28 and 42 of storage (approx. 50% reduction of the maximum concentration of vepoloxamer; p<0.001). There was an inverse correlation between the concentration of vepoloxamer used and the haemolysis rate (r2=0.27, p<0.001) and a direct correlation between haemolysis and phosphatidylserine (PS) exposure (r2=0.42; p<0.01). Increased osmotic fragility and shear induced deformability of 42-day stored RBC in EVA bags was significantly corrected by the addition of vepoloxamer. 
Discussion. Vepoloxamer, in a concentration-dependent fashion, is able to partly rescue the increased haemolysis and PS exposure induced by the absence of the commonly used plasticiser DEHP. These results provide initial but strong evidence to support vepoloxamer use to replace DEHP in long-term storage of RBC.

Keywords: blood, red blood cell, virus, pathogen, inactivation.
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