What is RBC deformability and why is it important?

Red blood cells (RBCs) have ability to undergo large deformations when subjected to stresses, which allows the RBCs to pass through capillaries narrower than resting RBC diameter.

A slight decrease in red cell deformability may cause important disturbances in the blood circulation of micro-vessels, but also in blood vessels whose lumen is diminished markedly by atherosclerosis or thrombosis.

Recent clinical observations have reported that reduced RBC deformability is a common risk factor for circulation diseases including diabetes, sepsis, malaria, hypertension, sickle cell anemia, myocardial ischaemia, stroke and other circulation disorders. A growing body of scientific evidences indicates that cell deformability can be used to identify patients at risk for cardiovascular diseases at earlier stage.

Cell deformability test - one that is performed at the patient point of care and that delivers results in just a minute - would give healthcare providers a valuable tool for diagnosing and preventing circulation disorders.

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