[en] Intraoperative blood salvage devices allowing a reinfusion of red blood cells (RBCs) after processing of shed blood and stagnant blood in the mediastinal cavity are more and more used to reduce homologous blood requirements in cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). As the proinflammatory activity of the shed blood also contributes to morbidity during CPB, we conducted a prospective study in order to examine the quality of autologous blood before and after processing with five different devices [BRAT2, Sequestra, Compact Advanced, Cell Saver 5 (CS5), Continuous Autologous Transfusion System (CATS)]. All systems resulted in an excellent haemoconcentration, ranging from 53.7% (Compact) to 68.9% (CATS). The concentrations and elimination rates of several inflammatory markers [IL-1beta, IL-2, IL-8, TNFalpha, myeloperoxidase (MPO), elastase] were examined. Except for the Sequestra, an important increase in concentration of IL-1beta (between 30% and 220%) has been observed after processing with each device. In contrast, the attenuation rate of IL-6 and TNFalpha (95%) was optimal for all investigated blood salvages systems. Regarding IL-8, only the CATS and CS5 systems were able to attenuate this biological parameter with an excellent efficacy. The rate of attenuation in MPO and elastase, as markers of leukocyte activation, was higher than 80% for all devices. In conclusion, the different RBC washing systems tested in this study resulted in a significant attenuation of the inflammatory response. Increased levels of IL-1beta after processing remained, however, unclear. According to the type of protocol, based on inlet haematocrit, fill and wash speeds, and wash volumes, small variations in reducing the inflammatory response have been observed from one device to another.