Background: Phagocytosis represents a cornerstone in defence against infection as well as in wound healing process. Several reports are describing a negative influence on phagocytosis by hydroxyethyl starch (HAES). The aim of our study was to examine the effect of red blood cell packs (RCP), fresh frozen plasma (FFP) and HAES on leukocyte phagocytosis in human whole blood by an in vitro model. Materials and Methods: Heparinized blood samples of 20 healthy probands were incubated with probes of FFP, RCP and HAES for 30 min. Afterwards phagocytic activity in whole blood was measured with opsonized fluorescent Escherichia coli . A flow cytometer (FACScan) with an excitation wavelength of 488 nm was used. Human leukocytes were separated by live gating at 630 nm red fluorescence. For phagocytosis assay, FITC fluorescence was measured at 530 nm. Phagocytic activity was determined for monocytes and granulocytes separately. Results: In healthy persons there was no significant influence on phagocytosis in vitro neither by FFP and RCP nor by HAES incubation. However, after incubation with HAES and FFP there was a greater deviation from the whole blood sample than in the samples incubated with RCP.

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