Blood transfusion is a fundamental therapy in numerous pathological conditions. Regrettably, many clinical reports describe adverse transfusion's drawbacks due to red blood cells alterations during storage. Thus, the possibility for a blood bank to ameliorate the quality of the erythrocyte concentrates units is crucial to improve clinical results and reduce transfusion adverse occurrences. Leukodepletion is a pre-storage treatment recognized to better preserve the quality of red blood cells with respect to leukoreduction. Aim of this work is to unravel the biochemical and biophysical basis that sustain the good clinical outcomes associated to the use of leukodepleted erythrocytes units. Erythrocytes concentrates were prepared as leukoreduced (n = 8) and pre-storage leukodepleted (n = 8) and then studied during 6 weeks in blood bank conditions. Overall, the data indicate that leukodepletion not only provide red blood cells with an appropriate amount of nutrients for a longer time but also selects red blood cells characterized by a more resilient plasma membrane fit to prolong their viability. We believe these results will stimulate new ideas to further optimize the current storage protocols.
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