UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Current Understanding of the Relationship between Blood Donor Variability and Blood Component Quality Hadjesfandiari, Narges; Khorshidfar, Mona; Devine, Dana V.


While differences among donors has long challenged meeting quality standards for the production of blood components for transfusion, only recently has the molecular basis for many of these differences become understood. This review article will examine our current understanding of the molecular differences that impact the quality of red blood cells (RBC), platelets, and plasma components. Factors affecting RBC quality include cytoskeletal elements and membrane proteins associated with the oxidative response as well as known enzyme polymorphisms and hemoglobin variants. Donor age and health status may also be important. Platelet quality is impacted by variables that are less well understood, but that include platelet storage sensitive metabolic parameters, responsiveness to agonists accumulating in storage containers and factors affecting the maintenance of pH. An increased understanding of these variables can be used to improve the quality of blood components for transfusion by using donor management algorithms based on a donors individual molecular and genetic profile.

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