Transfusions with young erythrocytes (neocytes) in sickle cell anemia

Harvey G. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transfusion-induced hemochromatosis is a potential therapeutic complication of the management of sickle cell anemia. Selective transfusion with young erythrocytes (neocyles), which theoretically have a longer life-span than do regular donor red cells, could decrease transfusion frequency and reduce iron deposition in the sickle cell patient. Using blood cell separators, a method has been devised to prepare neocyte units for transfusion. Neocyte enrichment was evaluated by reticulocyte count and mean red cell age was estimated from erythrocyte pyru-vate kinase, an age-dependent enzyme. These neocyte units have an average estimated mean cell age of 30 days compared to 60 days for unfractionated units. Radioch-romium studies in seven splenectomized thalassemia major patients revealed an average half-life of 47.4 days for neocytes stored in the frozen slate compared to an average half-life of 29.5 days for standard frozen red cells. Neocyte aliquots collected from three normal, eusplenic donors had an average estimated mean cell age of 6.5 days and an average half-life of 57.2 days when reinfused. Neocyte units cost $300 to collect and process compared to $92 for frozen red cells, but use of neocyte units could reduce by one-half the transfusion requirement in transfusion-dependent patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-165
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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