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A study of rheological determinants (plasma viscosity, whole-blood viscosity, and erythrocyte deformability) was made in 24 matched pairs of patients with homozygous sickle cell disease, with and without homozygous alpha-thalassaemia 2. Patients with coexisting alpha-thalassaemia showed a significant increase in erythrocyte deformability measured as filtration of washed erythrocytes through 5 micron diameter pores and also as viscosity of whole blood at high shear rate (230s-1) and standard haematocrit (0.45). This rheological advantage may explain the beneficial effect of alpha-thalassaemia 2 on haematological parameters and clinical events in homozygous sickle cell disease.

Original publication




Journal article


British journal of haematology

Publication Date





479 - 486


Erythrocytes, Humans, Anemia, Sickle Cell, Hemoglobin SC Disease, Thalassemia, Erythrocyte Count, Erythrocyte Indices, Hematocrit, Filtration, Rheology, Blood Viscosity, Homozygote, Pressure, Time Factors, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Middle Aged, Child, Male