Effects of pH changes of stock normal saline solution on 5 percent red cell suspension


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American National Red Cross

Subject: Medical Laboratory Technology


ISSN: 0894-203X
eISSN: 1930-3955





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VOLUME 30 , ISSUE 3 (September 2014) > List of articles

Effects of pH changes of stock normal saline solution on 5 percent red cell suspension

Gregorio L. Martin / Princess Joy M. Caraan / Jared Jenrik S. Chua / Jules Albert L. Crescini / Joseph Martin C. Diokno / Christopher Bernard Dlr. Javier / Kristina Barbara O. Reyes / Rianne Y. Soliven

Keywords : phosphate-buffered saline, normal saline solution, red cell suspension, red blood cell indices, pH changes

Citation Information : Immunohematology. Volume 30, Issue 3, Pages 126-134, DOI: https://doi.org/10.21307/immunohematology-2019-108

License : (Transfer of Copyright)

Published Online: 01-December-2019



The red cell suspension (RCS) is a universally used indicator system to demonstrate antigen and antibody reactions in vitro. Saline solutions that are used in its preparation are preferred to be fresh to avoid changes in pH that may affect the results. Thus, buffered saline such as phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) is the ideal diluent because its pH is maintained for a certain period. However, normal saline solution (NSS) is more commonly used because it is inexpensive and easy to make. pH changes in the saline solutions and the RCSs were monitored for 1 week. Macroscopic examination of changes in degree of redness of RCS was also observed. Red blood cell (RBC) indices of the ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)-anticoagulated blood used in the preparation of the RCS were measured in the performance of an automated complete blood count. Qualitative examination of the crenation of RBCs was done on the prepared blood smears and graded by three registered medical technologists. Percentage crenation was then determined using an improved Neubauer counting chamber. Three trials were performed, and results were averaged. Statistical analysis showed that there were significant differences in the average pH of PBS and NSS and the average pH of RCS-PBS and RCS-NSS over 1 week. RBC indices measured in EDTA-anticoagulated donor blood showed no significant difference. Macroscopic examination of changes in degree of redness of the RCS showed that color darkened over 1 week but only by a small degree. Qualitative and quantitative examination of crenation of RBCs in RCS-PBS and RCS-NSS both showed no significant differences over 1 week. The experimental group (RCS-NSS) continuously showed a higher grade of crenation than the control group (RCS-PBS). Crenation of RBCs still manifests microscopically despite the lack of a significant relationship between the pH of the saline solutions and the degree and percentage of crenation. Crenation, therefore, cannot be attributed to pH alone but occurs as a result of other factors.

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