BACKGROUND The storage of red blood cells (RBC) is associated with impairment of their properties that can induce a circulatory risk to recipients. In a preceding study (2009), we reported that post-storage rejuvenation (RJ) of stored RBC (St-RBC) efficiently reduced the storage-induced RBC/endothelial cell interaction, while only partially reversing the level of intracellular Ca(2+), reactive oxygen species, and surface phosphatidylserine. In the present study, we examined the RJ effectiveness in repairing St-RBC mechanical properties. METHODS RBC, stored in CPDA-1 without pre-storage leukoreduction, were subjected to post-storage RJ, and the deformability, osmotic fragility (OF), and mechanical fragility (MF) of the rejuvenated St-RBC (St-RBCRj) were compared to those of untreated St-RBC and of freshly-collected RBC (F-RBC). RESULTS 5-week storage considerably increased OF and MF, and reduced the deformability of St-RBC. All alterations were only partially (40-70%) reversed by RJ, depending on the extent of the damage: the greater the damage, the lesser the relative effect of RJ. CONCLUSION The findings of the present and preceding studies suggest that different St-RBC properties are differentially reversed by RJ, implying that some of the changes occur during storage and are irreversible.