Background: Previous reports have demonstrated that the red blood cell (RBC) deformability is decreased in a number of disorders, including diabetes, sickle cell disease and sepsis. Although the association of anemia, decreased number of RBC, with heart failure (HF) is well known, a relation between the function of RBC and HF has not been well established. We assessed the RBC deformability in healthy controls and HF patients. Methods: Nine healthy controls and 14 HF patients (age 58 ± 13 years, 14 males, left ventricular ejection fraction 40 ± 17%) were studied. We assessed RBC deformability by a microfluidics method, measuring transit velocity and strain. Results: HF patients had lower transit velocity and smaller strain than healthy controls. (Figure). Conclusion: HF patients may have not only abnormal quantity but also impaired quality in RBC.
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