Increased erythrocyte aggregation as an indicator for an aggressive clinical course in Behcet's disease: a prospective study

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Changes in blood rheology, especially increased erythrocyte aggregation (EA) might play an important part in the development of arterial and venous thrombotic lesions. A prospective study was designed to evaluate EA in patients with Behcet's disease (BD) and to see if this parameter is predictive for the future development of vascular complications, such as deep vein thrombosis of various organ systems and uveitis.


EA was measured by a photometric Myrenne aggregometer in 38 patients with BD at the time of initial diagnosis and in 40 age and sex matched healthy controls (HC).


During a median follow up period of 13.5 months, 13 patients developed vascular-ocular complications (eight deep vein thrombosis, nine uveitis, and four both deep vein thrombosis and uveitis). Patients were further divided into two groups: BD-a with mucocutaneous symptoms and arthritis only; BD-b with associated vascular-ocular complications. EA values at high shear rate (M) and at low shear rate (M1) were compared among the groups.


EA values at M and M1 were significantly higher in BD-b than BD-a and HC (p<0.001). These results suggest that determination of EA rates might be useful to identify subgroups who are likely candidates for developing vascular-ocular complications in BD and management of factors known to affect blood rheology might be beneficial.

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