Red blood cell osmotic fragility in healthy loggerhead and green sea turtles

Rebecca Radisic, Sean D. Owens, Charles A. Manire, Nicole Montgomery, Doug Mader, Bette Zirkelbach, Nicole I. Stacy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Loggerhead (Caretta caretta; Cc) and green sea (Chelonia mydas; Cm) turtles admitted to rehabilitation facilities may require blood transfusions for supportive treatment of disorders resulting in life-threatening anemia, but, considering the unique erythrocyte chemistry of sea turtles, standardized donor red blood cell (RBC) storage protocols have not been established. Prolonged cold storage and the effects of various anticoagulant-preservative solutions have been associated with increased RBC osmotic fragility across a broad range of species. Increased RBC fragility in stored RBC products has been associated with acute transfusion reactions. The osmotic fragility test is used to measure erythrocyte resistance to hemolysis while being exposed to a series of dilutions of a saline solution. We obtained baseline measurements for osmotic fragility in healthy Cc and Cm. Osmotic fragility testing was performed on samples from 10 Cc to 10 Cm. Fifty percent (50%) RBC hemolysis was identified at a mean NaCl concentration of 0.38% in both species. Results of our study will help guide future studies evaluating optimal storage solutions for sea turtle blood products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
StateAccepted/In press - 2020


  • erythrocyte
  • osmotic fragility
  • red blood cell
  • sea turtles
  • transfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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