Effect of hydroxyurea on the deformability of the red blood cell membrane in patients with sickle cell anemia.Clin Hemorheol Microcirc. 2006; 35(1-2):291-5.CH
Sickle cell disease is characterized by vaso-occlusive episodes, mainly in the small vessels, resulting in tissue ischemia, multi-organ failure, and, occasionally, death. Hydroxyurea (HU) is an agent with important and effective role in the treatment of patients suffering from this disease. The purpose of this study was to estimate the effect of HU on the deformability of the red blood cell's membrane (RBCM) in an effort to possibly improve the rheological properties of the RBCs of patients with sickle cell anemia (SCA), as well as to investigate the mechanical and rheological properties of these cells using micropipette and filtration techniques. The rigidity index, IR, which is a measure of cell rigidity and the elastic shear modulus, mu, which is a measure of cell's membrane deformability (CMd), of the RBCs from normal subjects, used as normal controls, were found significantly lower as compared to those of patients with SCA, regardless the treatment with HU. Patients under treatment with HU exhibited values better than those of untreated patients, in both, IR as well as mu, although still worse than the values of normal controls.