Author(s): Engstrm KG, Lfvenberg E
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Abstract Hydroxyurea (HU) is used in suppressing the bone marrow and producing fetal-like red blood cells (RBCs). These RBCs are large in size and may theoretically disturb the microcirculation. In five patients with myeloproliferative disorders (MPD), the RBC geometry and deformability were analyzed before and after 6 to 8 months of HU treatment. In untreated MPD, the RBC geometry and filterability was normal. After HU, the RBC membrane area increased 24\% and the cell volume increased 39\% (P <.005). This change resulted in a 12\% increase in the minimum cylindrical diameter (MCD). From a static bending model of initial deformation, the RBC diametrical cross-section had a significantly increased section modulus. However, this increase in profile stiffness was compensated for by its larger projected cell area and, thus, pressure load on the RBC corpuscle. The resulting resistance to initial deformation therefore remained unchanged after HU. These findings were tested experimentally; with 3-microm filter membranes, HU treatment caused a significant increase in flow resistance (P <.02), in accordance with MCD. However, with 5-microm pores, no difference was seen, again in consonance with the theoretical findings of initial deformation. Because most capillaries are larger than 3 microm, we suggest that HU is acceptable from a perspective of cellular microrheology.
This article was published in Blood
and referenced in Journal of Chromatography & Separation Techniques