AbstractEchinocyte formation is associated with a rigidification of the cells that may affect capillary perfusion and, consequently, the tissue oxygen supply. This study examines how many echinocytes appeared after the addition of radiographic contrast media (RCM) (Iodixanol320, Ioversol300, Iopamidol300, and Iomeprol400) compared to red blood cells in autologous plasma and in isotonic saline solution. Isotonic saline solution, Iodixanol, Ioversol, Iopamidol and Iomeprol in concentrations of 10 vol%, 20 vol%, and 40 vol% were added to the plasma of seven healthy subjects. Subsequently, the erythrocytes were resuspended in these plasma/RCM mixtures, incubated for 5 minutes and then examined under the microscope. The concentrations and the RCM in the mixture had a significant effect on the number of discocytes (factor concentration: p < 0.0001; factor RCM: p < 0.0001). The percentage of discocytes for all concentrations depended significantly on the RCM/plasma mixture (concentration × RCM: p < 0.002). Of all RCM/plasma mixtures used, the Iodixanol/plasma mixture showed the most similar discocyte fraction compared to red blood cells in the autologous plasma. Importantly, while Iodixanol differed from all other RCMs, the other RCMs did not differ from one another with respect to the discocyte fraction.