The search continues for the ideal isotope for evaluation of the survival time of erythrocytes, particularly following transfusion. Fe59 has been found to be unsuitable because of its rapid and almost complete reincorporation into new erythrocytes after destruction of the tagged old cells. N15 is theoretically suitable1 but expensive and, being a stable isotope, is difficult to measure.
Cr51 can be easily incorporated into the red cell in vitro and in vivo. From avaliable reports, it is apparent that the possibility of Cr51 behaving in the same fashion as Fe59 has not been ruled out. Read4 determined that injection of a hemolysate of Cr51-tagged erythrocytes did not result in immediate tagging of the recipient's red cells, but the possibility of late tagging of red cells from chromium stores was not studied.
It has been shown5 that injection of Na2Cr51O4 intravenously into rats results in a 5-fold increase of activity of
SCHENK WG, BOW TM. Post-Transfusion Erythrocyte Survival: An Evaluation of the Radio Chromate Method. Arch Surg. 1961;82(3):391–394. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300090061012
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