Red blood cell (RBC) transfusion is common in critically ill, postsurgical, and posttrauma patients in whom both systemic inflammation and immune suppression are associated with adverse outcomes. RBC products contain a multitude of immunomodulatory mediators that interact with and alter immune cell function. These interactions can lead to both proinflammatory and immunosuppressive effects. Defining clinical outcomes related to immunomodulatory effects of RBCs in transfused patients remains a challenge, likely due to complex interactions between individual blood product characteristics and patient‐specific risk factors. Unpacking these complexities requires an in‐depth understanding of the mechanisms of immunomodulatory effects of RBC products. In this review, we outline and classify potential mediators of RBC transfusion‐related immunomodulation and provide suggestions for future research directions.
Transfusion – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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