Diabetic foot disease is associated with reduced erythrocyte deformability

Avivit Cahn*, Leonid Livshits, Ariel Srulevich, Itamar Raz, Shaul Yedgar, Gregory Barshtein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The pathogenesis of diabetic foot disease is multifactorial and encompasses microvascular and macrovascular pathologies. Abnormal blood rheology may also play a part in its development. Using a cell flow analyser (CFA), we examined the association between erythrocyte deformability and diabetic foot disease. Erythrocytes from diabetic patients with no known microvascular complications (n = 11) and patients suffering from a diabetic foot ulcer (n = 11) were isolated and their average elongation ratio (ER) as well as the ER distribution curve were measured. Average ER was decreased in the diabetic foot patients compared with the patients with diabetes and no complications (1·64 ± 0·07 versus 1·71 ± 0·1; P = 0·036). A significant rise in the percentage of minimally deformable red blood cells RBCs in diabetic foot patients compared with the patients with no complications was observed (37·89% ± 8·12% versus 30·61% ± 10·17%; P = 0·039) accompanied by a significant decrease in the percentage of highly deformable RBCs (12·47% ± 4·43% versus 17·49% ± 8·17% P = 0·046). Reduced erythrocyte deformability may slow capillary flow in the microvasculature and prolong wound healing in diabetic foot patients. Conversely, it may be the low-grade inflammatory state imposed by diabetic foot disease that reduces erythrocyte deformability. Further study of the rheological changes associated with diabetic foot disease may enhance our understanding of its pathogenesis and aid in the study of novel therapeutic approaches.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)500-504
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Wound Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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  • Cell flow analyser
  • Diabetic foot
  • Erythrocyte deformability


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