Parameters of red blood cell aggregation as correlates of the inflammatory state

R. Ben Ami, G. Barshtein, D. Zeltser, Y. Goldberg, I. Shapira, A. Roth, G. Keren, H. Miller, V. Prochorov, A. Eldor, S. Berliner, S. Yedgar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


To identify clinically relevant parameters of red blood cell (RBC) aggregation, we examined correlations of aggregation parameters with C-reactive protein and fibrinogen in unstable angina (UA), acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and bacterial infection (BI). Aggregation parameters were derived from the distribution of RBC population into aggregate sizes (cells per aggregate) and changing of the distribution by flow-derived shear stress. Increased aggregation was observed in the following order: UA, AMI, and BI. The best correlation was obtained by integration of large aggregate fraction as a function of shear stress. To differentiate plasmatic from cellular factors in RBC aggregation, we determined the aggregation in the presence and absence of plasma and formulated a "plasma factor" (PF) ranging from 0 to 1. In AMI the enhanced aggregation was entirely due to PF (PF = 1), whereas in UA and BI it was due to both plasmatic and cellular factors (0 ≤ PF ≤ 1). It is proposed that clinically relevant parameters of RBC aggregation should express both RBC aggregate size distribution and aggregate resistance to disaggregation and distinguish between plasmatic and cellular factors.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)H1982-H1988
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number5 49-5
StatePublished - May 2001


  • Acute-phase response
  • Aggregate size distribution
  • Shear stress


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