Blood Cells Treated with Nitric Oxide May Lower Hypertension Risk

Hypertension Risk pic
Hypertension Risk
Image: weeklytribunenews.com

For more than a decade, Dr. Aarohi Ambardekar has practiced as an anesthesiologist and partner at Southern Maryland Anesthesia Associates (SMAA) in Lanham, Maryland. As a matter of professional interest as well as his continuing education, Dr. Aarohi Ambardekar maintains membership in the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

According to a recent study published in the journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), treating red blood cells (RBCs) with nitric oxide prior to transfusion can reduce the risk of high blood pressure. Patients who receive transfusions are at an elevated risk of developing pulmonary hypertension in the lungs, which can lead to more significant cardiovascular issues, including heart failure. According to researchers, pretreating the blood with nitric oxide can offset this risk.

Researchers stored red blood cells extracted from lambs for use in the trial. After a 40-day storage period, some of the cells were treated with nitric oxide. Lambs then received transfusions of either treated or untreated RBCs. Data showed the lambs that received untreated blood saw double the incidence of blood vessel constriction as compared to lambs that had been transfused with the treated RBCs.

Researchers say that testing nitric oxide-treated RBCs from human patients is now necessary to see if the results carry over to the human population.