Human bulbar conjunctival hemodynamics in hemoglobin SS and SC disease

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Abstract

The known biophysical variations of hemoglobin (Hb) S and Hb C may result in hemodynamic differences between subjects with SS and SC disease. The purpose of this study was to measure and compare conjunctival hemodynamics between subjects with Hb SS and SC hemoglobinopathies. Image sequences of the conjunctival microcirculation were acquired in 9 healthy control subjects (Hb AA), 24 subjects with SC disease, and 18 subjects with SS disease, using a prototype imaging system. Diameter (D) and blood velocity (V) measurements were obtained in multiple venules of each subject. Data were categorized according to venule caliber by averaging V and D for venules with diameters less than (vessel size 1) or greater than (vessel size 2) 15 μm. V in vessel size 2 was significantly greater than V in vessel size 1 in the AA and SS groups (P≥ 0.009), but not in the SC group (P = 0.1). V was significantly lower in the SC group as compared to the SS group (P = 0.03). In AA and SS groups, V correlated with D (P ≤ 0.005), but the correlation was not statistically significant in the SC group (P = 0.08). V was inversely correlated with hematocrit in the SS group for large vessels (P = 0.03); however, no significant correlation was found in the SC group (P ≥ 0.2). Quantitative assessment of conjunctival microvascular hemodynamics in SS and SC disease may advance understanding of sickle cell disease pathophysiology and thereby improve therapeutic interventions. Am. J. Hematol. 88:661–664, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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