October 7, 1968

Survival of Cephalothin-Treated Erythrocytes

Author Affiliations

Milan, Italy

JAMA. 1968;206(2):378. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150020094034

To the Editor:—  Alter et al1 have written that the interpretation by Nesmith and Davis2 about survival of cephalothin-treated erythrocytes in patients with antipenicillin antibodies is open to question, since the latter provide no data on the survival of cephalothin-treated erythrocytes in normal individuals without antipenicillin antibodies.In vitro treatment of autologous blood with cephalothin sodium does not affect the red cell survival in normal subjects; in fact in two healthy males we have observed that the autologous blood, incubated in vitro at 37 C in a water bath for three hours with cephalothin (final concentration 20 mg/ml) and then labelled with51Cr, had a normal in vivo survival.Therefore, we think that Nesmith and Davis2 are right when they assume that the reduced survival of cephalothin-treated red cells, injected in patients with antipenicillin antibodies, is the effect of the hemolytic action of these antibodies.