Physiological impact of platelet apheresis in pigs: Oxygen metabolism and coagulation

Wenjun Z. Martini, Cassandra M. Rodriguez, Jonathan Richardson, James K. Aden, Andrew P. Cap, Michael A. Dubick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Platelet apheresis is a routine clinical practice, but the physiological impact on the donors has been incompletely characterized. This study measured the effects of platelet apheresis on hemodynamics, oxygen metabolism, and coagulation in pigs to assess its impact before employing the animals in experimental studies. Methods: Forty pigs (39.8 ± 0.6 kg) were anesthetized and catheterized with an apheresis catheter in the femoral vein. During the platelet apheresis process, blood was withdrawn from the pig to separate platelets, and the remaining red blood cells and plasma returned back to the pigs, using the Haemonetics MCS+9000 system. A total of 12 cycles of blood withdrawn and return were performed during the entire apheresis procedure to reduce platelet counts to a target of 50% of baseline. During the process, hemodynamics was recorded in each cycle. Blood samples were collected before and after apheresis to assess changes in oxygen metabolism and coagulation by prothrombin time, activated partial thromboplastin time (STA-R Evolution Stago), and using Rotem thrombelastometry, and platelet aggregation using a Chrono-Log 700 aggregometer. Results: During each cycle of the apheresis, mean arterial pressure (MAP) was decreased and heart rate was increased by blood withdrawal, but both recovered after blood return. On the completion of the apheresis, platelet count decreased from baseline 345 ± 15 109/L to 141 ± 14 109/L and fibrinogen levels were reduced from 124 ± 5 to 99 ± 4 mg/dL (both p < 0.05). Although oxygen delivery remained unchanged, oxygen consumption was decreased from 4.0 ± 0.2 to 3.2 ± 0.0 mL O2/kg/min (p < 0.05). Rotemalpha (clotting speed) decreased from 79 ± 0 to 69 ± 1° and maximum clot firmness (MCF or clot strength) decreased from 71 ± 1 to 57 ± 1 mm (both p < 0.05). No changes were observed in prothrombin time or activated partial thromboplastin time. Platelet aggregation induced by arachidonic acid or collagen was decreased to 28 ± 6% or 71 ± 3% of baseline values (p < 0.05), respectively. Conclusion: Platelet apheresis caused significant fluctuations in hemodynamics, reduced oxygen consumption, in addition to the compromised platelet aggregation and clotting function expected. The observations warrant consideration in humans undergoing apheresis over extended periods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number195
Pages (from-to)195-201
Number of pages7
JournalMilitary Medicine
StatePublished - Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


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