Author(s): Majumder D, Banerjee D, Chandra S, Banerjee S, Chakrabarti A, Majumder D, Banerjee D, Chandra S, Banerjee S, Chakrabarti A
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Abstract Leukemic patients of different classifications are associated with anemia. Such clinical conditions are often referred to as refractory anemia, paraoxymal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, hemolytic uremia and autoimmune hemolytic anemia, all of which could be categorized as the cancer cachexia. In the present work, we have studied the overall morphology of intact red cells in different leukemic patients along with patients of hypoplastic anemia (HPA) by scanning electron microscopy. We have also studied the ultrastructure of the red cell surface membranes by transmission electron microscopy. For all experiments, erythrocytes from normal individuals served as controls. We have shown direct evidence of the altered red cell (RBC) membrane morphology irrespective of the hemoglobin status of the patients which includes (1) presence of large central holes in RBCs of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), (2) presence of thorn- and horn-like structure in RBCs of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and (3) flaccid appearance of RBCs in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients. A mixture of the above mentioned structures were found in the red cells of patients suffering from myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and in case of patients of HPA the RBCs lost the normal biconcave structures. TEM studies revealed presence of pores with diameters ranging from 100 to 200nm on the RBC membrane surface of myeloid leukemia with AML being the most prominent among others. Such pathophysiological alterations of the RBC morphology in leukemic patients could be identified as characteristic signature of the onset of anemia associated with the disease.
This article was published in Pathophysiology
and referenced in Journal of Oncology Translational Research