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April 21, 1969

Recent Advances in Freeze-Preservation of Red Blood Cells

Author Affiliations

From the Naval Blood Research Laboratory, Chelsea, Mass (Dr. Valeri and Mr. Runck) and the Naval Medical Research Institute, Bethesda, Md (Dr. Brodine).

JAMA. 1969;208(3):489-492. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03160030063006

The methods currently in clinical use for freezing human red blood cells (RBC) require the intracellular additive, glycerol, either in high concentration (approximately 45% W/V) with the slow freeze-thaw technique, or in low concentration (approximately 18% W/V) with the rapid freeze-thaw technique. The major technological problem in the current methods is the removal of the glycerol. Postthaw washing is presently accomplished by serial centrifugation ("batch washing"), continuous centrifugation, or a dilution procedure with recovery of RBC by agglomeration. Recent advances in the use of continuous centrifugation are extremely encouraging. However, for widespread clinical application of this approach disposable washing material Is urgently needed.