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Abnormal rheological properties of red blood cells as a potential marker of Gulf War Illness

Murph

:)
Messages
1,794
Abnormal rheological properties of red blood cells as a potential marker of Gulf War Illness: A preliminary study.
Falvo MJ1,2, Chen Y1,2, Klein JC1, Ndirangu D1, Condon MR2,3.
Author information
Abstract

BACKGROUND:
Veterans with Gulf War Illness (GWI) experience chronic symptoms that include fatigue, pain, and cognitive impairment. This symptom cluster may be the consequence of impaired tissue oxygen delivery due to red blood cell (RBC) dysfunction.

OBJECTIVE:
The purpose of this preliminary study was to determine whether the microrheological behavior of RBCs is altered in GWI.

METHODS:
We recruited 17 cases of GWI (GWI+) and 10 age matched controls (GWI-), and examined RBC deformability and aggregation via ektacytometry along with measurement of complete blood counts.

RESULTS:
RBCs were more deformable in GWI+, as indicated by higher elongation indices particularly at higher shear stress values (5.33, 9.49, and 16.89) when compared to GWI-. Aggregation formation, stability and kinetics were similar between GWI+and GWI-. Complete blood counts were also similar, with the exception of mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), and RBC distribution width (RDW) which was elevated in GWI+.

CONCLUSIONS:
In this preliminary study, we observed increased deformability along with increased MCH, MCHC and RDW in veterans with GWI+, which may contribute to the symptomatology of GWI. Further research is required to confirm our findings and the role of RBC microrheology in GWI.

KEYWORDS:
Persian Gulf Syndrome; blood cell count; fatigue; hemorheology; rheology

PMID:
29660926
DOI:
10.3233/CH-170262
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,657
Location
Alberta
Their findings might indicate that something in GWI (and ME/CFS) is affecting RBC. They're only speculating at this point about the RBC causing symptoms. My guess is that it might be useful as a marker for the disease, rather than a means for treating symptoms. I haven't heard any findings regarding deficient transfer of oxygen to cells in ME/CFS.