Long‐term cryopreservation of red cells from patients with sickle cell disease

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Twelve units of red cells (RBCs) from patients with sickle cell disease were glycerolized and frozen for periods of 1 to 3 years. The freeze‐ thaw hemolysis (mean 11.6%±2.1% SEM) and in vitro process recovery (mean 74.4%±3.7% SEM) were similar to those of sickle RBCs frozen for shorter periods of time. There was a weak positive correlation between duration of frozen storage and cell losses during deglycerolization. The adenosine triphosphate and 2,3‐ diphosphoglycerate levels of the thawed RBCs were within an acceptable range (mean 3.4 ± 0.2 μmol/g Hb and 18.0 ± 0.8 μmol/g Hb, respectively). Long‐term cryopreservation of sickle (Hb SS) RBCs opens the possibility of exploring autologous transfusion to treat sickle cell disease patients during anemic episodes that are not due to sickling. 1985 AABB

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