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Erythrocyte Deformability in Uremic Hemodialyzed Patients

S. FORMAN, B.A.; M. BISCHEL, M.D., F.A.C.P.; and P. HOCHSTEIN, PH.D.
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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Paul Hochstein, Ph.D., Department of Pharmacology, University of Southern California School of Medicine, 2025 Zonal Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90033.


Los Angeles, California


Ann Intern Med. 1973;79(6):841-843. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-79-6-841
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Erythrocyte deformability was measured in normal people and in patients with chronic renal failure treated with hemodialysis. This was accomplished by the measurement of flow rate through polycarbonate filters with pore diameters of 3 microns. Erythrocytes with altered flow rates were found in five of seven splenectomized patients with chronic renal failure. Splenectomized individuals with normal renal function did not show this effect on the erythrocytes. The cells of 14 other patients on dialysis, who had spleens, showed normal flow-rate characteristics. This suggests that part of the hemolytic component of the anemia of chronic renal failure may be associated with cellular alterations that compromise the passage of erythrocytes through the microcirculation of the spleen. The improvement of the hemolytic anemia of uremia after splenectomy may be associated with the persistence of these rigid cells in the circulation.

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