A comprehensive ovine model of blood transfusion

G. Simonova, J. P. Tung, J. F. Fraser, H. L. Do, A. Staib, Michelle Chew, K. R. Dunster, K. M. Glenister, D. E. Jackson, Y. L. Fung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (SciVal)


Background The growing awareness of transfusion-associated morbidity and mortality necessitates investigations into the underlying mechanisms. Small animals have been the dominant transfusion model but have associated limitations. This study aimed to develop a comprehensive large animal (ovine) model of transfusion encompassing: blood collection, processing and storage, compatibility testing right through to post-transfusion outcomes. Materials and methods Two units of blood were collected from each of 12 adult male Merino sheep and processed into 24 ovine-packed red blood cell (PRBC) units. Baseline haematological parameters of ovine blood and PRBC cells were analysed. Biochemical changes in ovine PRBCs were characterized during the 42-day storage period. Immunological compatibility of the blood was confirmed with sera from potential recipient sheep, using a saline and albumin agglutination cross-match. Following confirmation of compatibility, each recipient sheep (n=12) was transfused with two units of ovine PRBC. Results Procedures for collecting, processing, cross-matching and transfusing ovine blood were established. Although ovine red blood cells are smaller and higher in number, their mean cell haemoglobin concentration is similar to human red blood cells. Ovine PRBC showed improved storage properties in saline-adenine-glucose-mannitol (SAG-M) compared with previous human PRBC studies. Seventy-six compatibility tests were performed and 171% were incompatible. Only cross-match compatible ovine PRBC were transfused and no adverse reactions were observed. Conclusion These findings demonstrate the utility of the ovine model for future blood transfusion studies and highlight the importance of compatibility testing in animal models involving homologous transfusions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-160
JournalVox Sanguinis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Hematology


  • blood transfusion
  • compatibility test
  • ovine model
  • storage lesion


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