Deformability ofErythrocytes and Factors Affecting itFromChildhood toOldAge: A Comparative Study
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Age-related changes of human RBCs is a matter ofmuch controverse. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of age and sex-related changes in deformability of human erythrocytes, as well as other haemorrheologic parameters affecting it. This study comprised 64 normal subjects divided according to age into 4 groups, each group comprised 16 subjects equally subdivided into males and females. Group I: from 4 to 15 years old. Group II: from 18 to 40 years old. Group HI: from 40 to 60 years old. Group IV: above 60 years old. AH cases were normal healthy persons and were not receiving any medication for a period of one month before sampling. All cases were subjected to the following laboratory investigations: Haemoglobin estima tion, total red cell count, haematocrit value, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, whole blood viscosity, plasma viscosity, packed cell viscosity (PCV), plasma lipid estima tion, red cell membrane lipid content and erythrocyte filtrability (deformability). Group I erythrocytes were found to have the shortest filtration time (the best deforma bility) as compared to older groups II, III and IV, the difference was statistically high ly significant, meanwhile no statistical difference in deformability was found between groups II, III and IV. Correlating deformability with the other studied parameters, positive correlations were found in: groups H, HI and IV as regards Hb, RBCs count HTand PCV, groups I, HI and IV as regards plasma viscosity and plasma lipids, in all groups as regards whole blood viscosity. On the contrary, no correlation between de formability and either ESR or RBCs membrane lipid in any studied group was found. Regarding sex-related differences in deformability, it was not found in group I while itwas clear in other groups, wheremales RBCs were less deformable than those of fe males. This sex-related changes were attributed mainly to differences in haematocrit ratio and red cell count. Wemight conclude that in childhood erythrocytes are highly deformability a criteria that decreased with aging. As whole blood viscosity has been found to be a factor constantly affecting deformability, its measurement might help to prevent vascular risks in disease states.