Indexed on: 01 Dec '06Published on: 01 Dec '06Published in: Human physiology
The relationship between hemorheology, erythrocyte ATP and 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (2,3-DPG) concentrations, and von Willebrand factor antigen was studied in athletes and peripheral arterial disease patients. Lower blood viscosity, mainly due to a higher erythrocyte deformability, was found in athletes compared to control subjects. Higher 2,3-DPG/Ht levels in athletes were correlated with blood viscosity, erythrocyte deformability, the rigidity index, and erythrocyte suspension viscosity at low shear stress. It is suggested that these relationships might be determined by the predominance of immature erythrocytes in the blood circulation of the athletes. In the group of patients, a decrease in ATP/Ht was related to increased erythrocyte aggregation and a higher erythrocyte suspension viscosity. Moreover, the concentration of von Willebrand factor was positively correlated with the erythrocyte aggregation index, erythrocyte suspension viscosity, and plasma viscosity. The results show that alterations in erythrocyte and plasma rheology may be involved in the modification of the functional state of the vascular endothelium and the development of atherosclerosis.