Extracellular Vesicles in Red Blood Cell Concentrates: An Overview

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Red blood cell (RBC) concentrates may be stored for up to 42 days before transfusion to a patient. During storage extracellular vesicles (EVs) develop and can be detected in significant amounts in RBC concentrates. The concentration of EVs is affected by component preparation methods, storage solutions, and inter-donor variation. Laboratory investigations have focused on the effect of EVs on in vitro assays of thrombin generation and immune responses. Assays for EVs in RBC concentrates are not standardized. The aims of this review are to describe the factors that determine the presence of erythrocyte-EVs in RBC concentrates, the current techniques used to characterize them, and the potential role of EV analysis as a quality control maker for RBC storage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-130
Number of pages6
JournalTransfusion Medicine Reviews
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • Blood transfusions
  • Extracellular vesicles
  • Microparticles
  • Red blood cell concentrate


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