Enhanced adherence of beta-thalassaemic erythrocytes to endothelial cells

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The adherence of red blood cells (RBC) to endothelial cells (EC), shown to correlate with microvascular occlusion in sickle cell disease and malaria, is considered a major contributor to microcirculatory disorders. In the present study the adherence to EC was markedly enhanced with RBC from beta-thalassaemia major (TM) patients, and even more so with RBC from beta-thalassaemia intermedia (TI) patients (10-fold and 25-fold higher than normal, respectively). It is proposed that enhanced RBC/EC adherence may contribute to the microcirculatory disorders observed in thalassaemia, especially in TI patients who are particularly known to suffer from leg ulcers.

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