Premature red blood cells have decreased aggregation and enhanced aggregability

D. Arbell, B. Orkin, B. Bar-Oz, Gregory Barshtein*, S. Yedgar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Preterm infants are highly susceptible to ischemic damage. This damage is most obvious in the brain, retina, and gastrointestinal tract. Studies focusing on the rheological properties of premature red blood cells (pRBCs) have consistently shown minimal or no RBC aggregation. Previously, measurements of pRBC aggregation kinetics indicated that specific plasma properties are responsible for the decreased RBC aggregation observed in the neonates, but that their specific RBC properties do not affect it. However, the strength of interaction in the pRBC aggregates as a function of medium composition has not been tested. In our previous research, we described clinically relevant parameters, that is, the aggregate resistance to disaggregation by flow. With the help of a cell flow property analyzer (CFA), we can monitor RBC aggregation by direct visualization of its dynamics during flow. We used the CFA to examine pRBC (from 9 premature babies) in the natural plasma and in PBS buffer supplemented with dextran (500 kDa) to distinguish between RBC intrinsic-cellular and plasma factors. pRBCs suspended in the native plasma showed minimal or no aggregation in comparison to normal adult RBC. When we transferred pRBCs from the same sample to the dextran solution, enhanced resistance to disaggregation by flow was apparent.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)161-165
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physiological Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Aggregability
  • Plasma factor
  • Preterm infants
  • Red blood cell aggregation


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