Deformability of Erythrocytes and Factors Affecting it From Childhood to Old Age: A Comparative Study
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Age-related changes of human RBCs is a matter of much 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 1: from 4 to 15 years old. Group 11: from 18 to 40 years old. Group III: from 40 to 60 years old. Group IV: above 60 years old. All 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 estimation, total red cell count, haematocrit value, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, whole blood viscosity, plasma viscosity, packed cell viscosity (PCV), plasma lipid estimation, red cell membrane lipid content and erythrocyte filtrability (deformability). Group 1 erythrocytes were found to have the shortest filtration time (the best deformability) as compared to older groups II, III and IV, the difference was statistically highly significant, meanwhile no statistical difference in deformability was found between groups II, HI and IV. Correlating deformability with the other studied parameters, positive correlations were found in: groups 11. III and IV as regards Hb. RBCs count HT and PCV, groups 1,111 and IV as regards plasma viscosity and plasma lipids, in all groups as regards whole blood viscosity. On the contrary, no correlation between deformability 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 it was clear in other groups, where males RBCs were less deformable than those of females. This sex-related changes were attributed mainly to differences in haematocrit ratio and red cell count. We might 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.